Short-term behavioral and electrophysiological consequences of underwater trauma

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In a previous work we found that a 30-s underwater trauma, following 8 days of training for a spatial memory task in the water maze, resulted in poor performance in the spatial memory task at both 1 h and 3 weeks after the trauma. Here we found that compared with naive animals and animals that were trained for the spatial learning task but were not traumatized, the traumatized rats showed impaired performance in a spatial learning task in the water maze 20 min after the trauma and a reduced level of dentate gyrus long-term potentiation (LTP) 40 min after high-frequency stimulation to the perforant path. We also found a positive correlation between the behavioral performance and hippocampal plasticity. The reduced ability to induce LTP suggests that the trauma-related behavioral impairment is mediated by hippocampal-dependent processes. The underwater trauma may provide an important and potentially powerful model for understanding the mechanisms underlying the relationship between stress, cognition, and learning. ũ 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-332
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are thankful to D. Teucher for technical help. The work was supported by a research grant from Israel Foundations Trustees (1998–2000) to G.R-L.


  • Hippocampus
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Rat
  • Spatial memory
  • Stress
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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