Epinephrine enables Pavlovian fear conditioning under anesthesia

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Science  10 Feb 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4636, pp. 605-607
DOI: 10.1126/science.6695173


Rats under Pavlovian defensive conditioning (noise paired with shock) while under general anesthesia. Peripheral administration of epinephrine (0.01 to 1.0 milligram per kilogram of body weight) during training resulted in the acquisition of conditioned fear, as shown 10 days later by conditioned suppression of water drinking. Analysis of heart rate and measurement of reflexes during training indicated that epinephrine did not lighten the state of anesthesia. These results indicate that epinephrine enables the learning of conditioned fear in the anesthetized brain.