Effects of extended electrical kindling on exploratory behavior and spatial learning
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Short-term electrical kindling, a widely used experimental model of epilepsy, appears to have little effect on behavior. The effects of extended kindling are largely unknown. Rats implanted with kindling electrodes in amygdala (AM) or perforant path (PP) received 300 kindling trials over approximately 7 months, and were tested in the Morris watermaze after a 7-10 day recovery period. Kindled animals were impaired during the initial training on hidden-platform acquisition, but not in retention of platform location. No deficits were found in acquiring a new hidden-platform location, latency to reach a visible-platform, or in swim speed. Open-field activity showed a sustained increase when tested during kindling, but only a transient increase when tested following suspension of kindling. Similar results were obtained for both AM and PP kindled animals. Hence, long-term kindling of both of these sites produced behavioral changes that were transient in nature. Further, these results also indicate that propagation of seizure activity from remote sites can alter hippocampally-mediated or related behavior.
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