Can an aversive, extinction-resistant memory trigger impairments in walking adaptability? An experimental study using adult rats

Medeiros, FM, Myskiw, J, Baptista, P, Neves, L, Martins, LA, Izquierdo, I, Furini, C, Xavier, L, Hollands, KL ORCID: and Mestriner, RG 2018, 'Can an aversive, extinction-resistant memory trigger impairments in walking adaptability? An experimental study using adult rats' , Neuroscience Letters, 665 , pp. 224-228.

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Cognitive demands can influence the adaptation of walking, a crucial skill to maintain body stability and prevent falls. Whilst previous research has shown emotional load tunes goal-directed movements, little attention has been given to this finding. This study sought to assess the effects of suffering an extinction-resistant memory on skilled walking performance in adult rats, as an indicator of walking adaptability. Thus, 36 Wistar rats were divided in a two-part experiment. In the first part (n = 16), the aversive, extinction-resistance memory paradigm was established using a fear-conditioning chamber. In the second, rats (n = 20) were assessed in a neutral room using the ladder rung walking test before and tree days after inducing an extinction-resistance memory. In addition, the elevated plus-maze test was used to control the influence of the anxiety-like status on gait adaptability. Our results revealed the shock group exhibited worse walking adaptability (lower skilled walking score), when compared to the sham group. Moreover, the immobility time in the ladder rung walking test was similar to the controls, suggesting that gait adaptability performance was not a consequence of the fear generalization. No anxiety-like behavior was observed in the plus maze test. Finally, correlation coefficients also showed the skilled walking performance score was positively correlated with the number of gait cycles and trial time in the ladder rung walking test and the total crossings in the plus maze. Overall, these preliminary findings provide evidence to hypothesize an aversive, extinction-resistant experience might change the emotional load, affecting the ability to adapt walking.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Neuroscience Letters
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0304-3940
Related URLs:
Depositing User: K Hollands
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2017 15:15
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 22:47

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