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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Learning of physiological responses: II. Classical conditioning of the baroreflex.

The baroreflex can be classically conditioned. In neuromuscular blocked (NMB) rats, electrical stimulation of the aortic depressor nerve (ADN) and dopamine-produced blood pressure rise were effective unconditioned stimuli (UCS) for auditory discriminative classical conditioning. The conditioned response (CR) pattern (bradycardia, vasodilatation, and hypotension > 10 torr) closely resembled that of the unconditioned baroreflex. Conditioned stimulus (CS) specificity was demonstrated by discrimination of baroreflex-associated and nonassociated auditory stimuli, and also by elaborating depressor and pressor CRs to auditory CSs, which respectively had been associated with either baro-afferent (depressor) or tail-shock (pressor) UCSs. The conditioned-baroreflex-magnitude increased with trials. These findings support quantitative models in which CRs interact with and calibrate the gain and dynamic properties of natural reflexes.[1]


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