To evaluate whether the duration of the conditioned stimulus (CS) influences the facilitatory effect of posttraining platform treatment upon the acquisition and long-term retention (LTR) of a shuttle-box conditioning, rats were assigned to one of the four following treatments: P-3 group rats were subjected to a 5-h treatment on 16 cm diameter platforms immediately after each of 5 training sessions (10 trials each separated by 24-h intervals) in which the CS consisted of a tone lasting 3 s; control-3 rats were trained the same way but were not subjected to the platform treatment; P-10 rats did also receive the immediate 5-h treatment on platforms, but the CS was a tone lasting 10 s; finally, control-10 rats did not receive any treatment and were also trained with a 10-s tone. Ten days after training, all rats were also tested for LTR (1 session of 10 trials). When the CS duration was 3 s, the platform treatment improved both the acquisition and LTR of the task, compared to control subjects, but the same treatment had no effect when the CS lasted 10 s. With the use of a 10-s CS, the level of learning achieved by both treated and untreated subjects was similar to the final level of acquisition reached by treated subjects trained with a 3-s CS. We conclude that the facilitatory effects of the platform method treatment upon the acquisition and LTR of a distributed shuttle-box avoidance depend on the difficulty of the task. © 1993.
- Learning and memory facilitation
- Platform method
- Shuttle-box avoidance