Hippocampal Unit Activity during Classical Aversive and Appetitive Conditioning

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Science  18 Feb 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4023, pp. 792-794
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4023.792


Rats were trained with a tone being followed by either food or electric shock, on alternate days. Unit activity during application of the conditioned stimulus was recorded from the dorsal hippocampus. The results indicate differentiation of the hippocampal system. Dentate units respond by augmentation to a conditioned stimulus which leads to food and by inhibition to the same stimulus when it precedes electric shock. The hippocampus proper responds by augmentation in both situations. The intensity of the hippocampal response to the conditioned stimulus on the first day of training is higher if the unconditioned stimulus is food than if it is electric shock. These data cast light on the functions of the dorsal dentate-hippocampal connections and the hippocampus proper during aversive and appetitive conditioning.