A comparison of protocols for passive and discriminative avoidance learning tasks in the domestic chick

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Title A comparison of protocols for passive and discriminative avoidance learning tasks in the domestic chick
Author Gibbs, Marie E.; Johnston, Amy Nicole Burne; Mileusnic, Radmila; Crowe, Simon F.
Journal Name Brain Research Bulletin
Year Published 2008
Place of publication United States
Publisher Elsevier Inc
Abstract A one-trial learning task, where chicks learn that a bead of a particular shape and/or colour has a bitter taste (because it has been coated in 100% methyl anthranilate, MeA) and subsequently avoids it on test, has been widely used by research groups across the world. However, there are some differences in the results reported by different research laboratories. One important difference is found when chicks are trained with a diluted bitter taste on the bead (10 or 20% MeA); memory is not consolidated and fades, lasting for different times. At Monash and La Trobe Universities, memory lasts for 30 min but at the Open University (OU), memory lasts for 4–6 h before fading. Differences in protocol that may explain this apparent discrepancy are whether the chicks have seen the bead before (novelty) and whether the colour or the shape of the bead is an important feature. In this review,we discuss these and other factors that may contribute to the differences in the characteristics of memory processing at Monash and at the OU, such as chick strain, hatchery or laboratory incubated chicks, age at training. It is clear that there is a difference between passive avoidance and discriminative avoidance protocols and this may explain the differences in duration of the memory with weakly reinforced learning. Is the OU task a more salient experience because of the novelty of the bead and therefore a 'stronger' learning experience? The different protocols may allow different questions to be addressed.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/525456/description#description
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2008.02.032
Volume 76
Edition 2008
Page from 198
Page to 207
ISSN 0361-9230
Date Accessioned 2008-06-02
Date Available 2008-11-03
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Health Practice Innovation; Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Neurobiology
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/20268
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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