Chronic stress impairs spatial memory and motivation for reward without disrupting motor ability and motivation to explore

Jonathan K. Kleen, Matthew T. Sitomer, Peter R. Killeen, Cheryl Conrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study uses an operant, behavioral model to assess the daily changes in the decay rate of short-term memory, motivation, and motor ability in rats exposed to chronic restraint. Restraint decreased reward-related motivation by 50% without altering memory decay rate or motor ability. Moreover, chronic restraint impaired hippocampal-dependent spatial memory on the Y maze (4-hr delay) and produced CA3 dendritic retraction without altering hippocampal-independent maze navigation (1-min delay) or locomotion. Thus, mechanisms underlying motivation for food reward differ from those underlying Y maze exploration, and neurobiological substrates of spatial memory, such as the hippocampus, differ from those that underlie short-term memory. Chronic restraint produces functional, neuromorphological, and physiological alterations that parallel symptoms of depression in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-851
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume120
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

Keywords

  • Hippocampus
  • Metabolism
  • Motivation spatial memory
  • Operant conditioning
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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