A number of experiments have shown that physical exercise improves acquisition and retention for a variety of learning tasks in rodents. Most of these works have been conducted with tasks associated with a considerable level of stress, physical effort and/or food deprivation that might interact with exercise, thus hindering the interpretation of the results. On the other hand, it is well established that post-training epinephrine is able to facilitate memory consolidation, but only a few works have studied its effect on the process of acquisition. The present work was aimed at studying whether 17 days of voluntary physical exercise (running wheels) and/or post-training epinephrine (0.01 or 0.05. mg/kg) could improve the acquisition of a spatial task in the Barnes maze, and whether the combination of the two treatments have additive effects. Our results showed that exercise improved acquisition, and 0.01. mg/kg of epinephrine tended to enhance it, by reducing the distance needed to find the escape hole. The combination of both treatments failed to further improve the acquisition level. We concluded that both treatments exerted their effect on acquisition by enhancing the process of learning itself, and that exercise is able to improve acquisition even using tasks with a low level of stress and physical effort. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
|Journal||Behavioural Brain Research|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Jun 2013|
- Barnes maze
- Voluntary physical exercise