Forebrain noradrenaline concentration following weakly reinforced training Academic Article uri icon


  • Day-old chicks trained on a single-trial discriminated passive avoidance task using a concentrated taste aversant, methyl anthranilate, have been shown to exhibit three stages of memory processing; short-, intermediate-, and long-term memory. If the aversant is diluted to 20% v/v methyl anthranilate in absolute ethanol, only the short-term and some of the intermediate stage are observed. In this study we investigated the whole forebrain levels of noradrenaline in response to differing intensities of the training experience. The results show a profound difference in the level of whole forebrain NA at all training-sacrifice intervals for the trained as compared to the untrained controls, except at 15- and 20-minute posttraining, when a substantial reduction in the level of NA was achieved under all training conditions. Furthermore, subjects which received treatments which resulted in the emergence of behavioural evidence of long-term memory tended to have higher levels of whole-forebrain NA at 30 minutes after initial training. This is the time when we have postulated that triggering of protein synthesis associated with long-term memory formation takes place.

publication date

  • September 1991