Possible noradrenergic involvement in training stimulus intensity Academic Article uri icon


  • Day-old chicks trained on a single trial passive discrimination avoidance task using a concentrated chemical aversant, methyl anthranilate (MeA), have been shown to exhibit three stages of memory processing: short, intermediate and long term. A similar learning task with the aversant diluted to 20% in ethanol leads to short- and intermediate-term memory only, but not to long-term memory. The emergence of long-term memory has been shown to be associated with the production of a nonenergy-dependent phase of the intermediate memory stage. Subcutaneous administration of propranolol proved capable of inhibiting this nonenergy-dependent phase of memory under a number of training regimes: strongly reinforced training, and with weakly reinforced training presented twice or coupled with a selected dose of the stress-related hormone ACTH. This study supports the notion that there is a phase of memory that occurs prior to the protein synthesis-dependent phase of memory which is susceptible to interference by drugs affecting noradrenergic processes and which may be associated with the intensity of the training stimulus.

publication date

  • July 1991