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Unconsciously Implanted Visuoauditory Memory in the Presence of Cholecystokinin Retrieved in Behavioral Contexts

By Zicong Zhang, Christine Xuejiao Zheng, Yujie Peng, Yiping Guo, Danyi Lu, Xiao Li, Wenjian Sun, Peng Tang, Sherry Ling He, Min Li, Qing Liu, Fuqiang Xu, Gabriel Ng, Xi Chen, Jufang He

Posted 30 Dec 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/241141

We investigated whether visuoauditory association can be artificially implanted in rodents and then retrieved in a behaviorally relevant context. Rats were trained to approach the left or right hole of a behavioral apparatus to retrieve a reward depending on the side of electrical stimulation of the auditory cortex (EAC) they received and mice were fear-conditioned to EAC. Next, an irrelevant visual stimulus (VS) was repeatedly paired with EAC in the presence of cholecystokinin (CCK) or with activation of terminals of entorhinal CCK neurons in the auditory cortex. In subsequent behavioral testing with VS, rats approached the hole associated with reward availability and mice showed a freezing response to the VS. A CCK antagonist blocked the establishment of visuoauditory association, whereas a CCK agonist rescued the deficit of association. Our findings provide a scientific foundation for "memory implantation" and indicate that CCK is the switching chemical for formation of visuoauditory association.

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