The plastic changes in the auditory cortex induced by a fear conditioning, through pairing a sound (CS) with an electric foot-shock (US), were investigated using an optical recording method with voltage sensitive dye, RH795. In order to investigate the effects of association learning, optical signals in the auditory cortex in response to CS (12 kH z pure tone) and non-CS (4, 8,16 kH z pure tone) were recorded before and after normal and sham conditioning. As a result, the response area to CS enlarged only in the conditioning group after the conditioning. Additionally, the rise time constant of the auditory response to CS significantly decreased and the relative peak value and the decay time constant of the auditory response to CS significantly increased after the conditioning. This study introduces an optical approach to the investigation of fear conditioning, representational plasticity, and the cholinergic system. The findings are synthesized in a model of the synaptic mechanisms that underlie cortical plasticity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cognitive Neuroscience