While a lot is known about the mechanisms promoting aversive learning, the impact of rewarding factors on memory has received comparatively less attention. This research investigates reward-related explicit memory in male rats, by taking advantage of the emotional-object recognition test. This is based on the prior association, during conditioned learning, between a rewarding experience (the encounter with a receptive female rat) and an object; afterwards rat discrimination and recognition of the ‘emotional object’ is recorded in the presence of a novel object, as a measure of positive limbic memory formation. Since endocannabinoids are critical for processing reward and motivation, the consequences of the stimulation of cannabinoid signalling are also assessed by the administration of WIN 55,212-2 at pre- and post-conditioning time. Our results show that rats encode the association between object and rewarding experience, form positive limbic memory of the emotional object, and retrieve this information in the face of novelty. Stimulation of the cannabinoid system at pre-conditioning time is able to strengthen reward-related explicit memory in the presence of novelty, whereas post-conditioning activation increases approach behaviour to novel stimuli. The assessment of limbic memory by the emotional-object recognition test can help unveiling the addictive and confounding properties of psychotropic drugs.
|Numero di pagine||11|
|Rivista||Journal of Psychopharmacology|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2018|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)