Olfactory learning prevents MK-801-induced psychosis-like behaviour in an animal model of schizophrenia

Ari Naimark, Edi Barkai, Matar A. Michael, Nitzan Kozlovsky, Zeev Kaplan, Hagit Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is mounting evidence to support the concept that education is associated with the formation of a functional reserve in the brain, a process that appears to provide some protection against certain aspects of severe central nervous system disorders. The goal of this study was to examine whether learning prevents psychosis-like behaviour in an animal model of schizophrenia. A series of behavioural tasks were used to assess olfactory learning-induced protection against the effects of NMDA channel blocker, MK801. This blocker caused sensory-motor disturbances, spatial learning acquisition deficit, and swimming strategy alterations in pseudo-trained and naive rats, but had a considerably lesser effect on trained rats. In sharp contrast, olfactory learning provided no protection against d-amphetamine application. Our data support the notion that learning-induced protection against schizophrenic behaviour is maintained by non-NMDA-mediated enhanced activation of local connections in the relevant cortical networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Animal model
  • Memory
  • NMDA receptors
  • Olfactory learning
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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