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Center for Functional Genomics at Northwestern University

National Institutes of Health

Protocols ›› Learning and Memory

In order to discover genes that are involved in learning and memory, we have devised a screening strategy that utilizes a classically conditioned fear response in mice. Context-dependent and cued fear conditioning are robust behaviors that are acquired in a single training session and that can be tested rapidly. Comparision of contextual and cued fear conditioning responses canbe used to bias the screen towards either hippocamal or amygdala associated components. For example a defect in contextual but not cued fear conditioning would suggest a possible hippocampal dependence. General assessments using open field behavior, elevated plus maze, and rotorod will also be used to assess anxiety, emotionality and motor deficts which can modify the expression of fear conditioned behaviors such as "freezing".