Effects of ventral and dorsal CA1 subregional lesions on trace fear conditioning

Jason L. Rogers, Michael R. Hunsaker, Raymond P. Kesner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Recent lines of research have focused on dissociating function between the dorsal and ventral hippocampus along space and anxiety dimensions. In the dorsal hippocampus, the CA1 subregion has been implicated in the acquisition of contextual fear as well as in the trace interval in trace fear conditioning. The present study was designed to test the relative contributions of dorsal (dCA1) and ventral CA1 (vCA1) in trace fear conditioning. Long-Evans rats received ibotenate lesions of the ventral CA1 (n = 7), dorsal CA1 (n = 9), or vehicle control lesions (n = 8) prior to trace fear conditioning acquisition. Results suggest dCA1 and vCA1 groups show no significant deficits during acquisition when compared to control groups. dCA1 and vCA1 both show deficits in the retention of contextual fear when tested 24 h post-acquisition (P < .05 and P < .01, respectively), and vCA1 was impaired relative to dCA1 (P < .05). This is suggestive of a graded involvement in contextual retention between the dorsal and ventral aspects of CA1. dCA1 showed no deficit for retention of conditioned fear to the tone or the trace when tested 48 h post-acquisition, whereas vCA1 did show a significant deficit for the trace interval and a slight, non-significant reduction in freezing to the tone, when compared to the control group (p < .05). Overall the data are suggestive of a graded involvement in retention of fear conditioning between the dorsal and ventral aspects of CA1, but it is likely that vCA1 may be critically involved in retention of trace fear conditioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-81
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • CA1
  • Dorsal hippocampus
  • Trace fear conditioning
  • Ventral hippocampus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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