Christine J. Fontaine

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Prenatal ethanol exposure (PNEE) has been linked to widespread impairments in brain structure and function. There are a number of animal models that are used to study the structural and functional deficits caused by PNEE, including, but not limited to invertebrates, fish, rodents, and non-human primates. Animal models enable a researcher to control(More)
cFos activation in the anterior piriform cortex (aPC) occurs in early odor preference learning in rat pups (Roth and Sullivan 2005). Here we provide evidence that the pairing of odor as a conditioned stimulus and β-adrenergic activation in the aPC as an unconditioned stimulus generates early odor preference learning. β-Adrenergic blockade in the aPC(More)
The present study examines synaptic plasticity in the anterior piriform cortex (aPC) using ex vivo slices from rat pups given lateralized odor preference training. In the early odor preference learning model, a brief 10 min training session yields 24 h memory, while four daily sessions yield 48 h memory. Odor preference memory can be lateralized through(More)
In this review, the benefits of physical exercise on structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus are discussed. The evidence is clear that voluntary exercise in rats and mice can lead to increases in hippocampal neurogenesis and enhanced synaptic plasticity which ultimately result in improved performance in hippocampal-dependent tasks.(More)
Previous research has shown that rats, unlike birds, do not readily demonstrate daily time-place learning (TPL). It has been suggested, however, that rats are more successful at these tasks if the response cost (RC) is increased. Widman et al. (2000) found that female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats learned a daily TPL task in which they were required to climb(More)
The consumption of alcohol during gestation is detrimental to the developing central nervous system (CNS). The severity of structural and functional brain alterations associated with alcohol intake depends on many factors including the timing and duration of alcohol consumption. The hippocampal formation, a brain region implicated in learning and memory, is(More)
Rat pups during a critical postnatal period (≤ 10 days) readily form a preference for an odor that is associated with stimuli mimicking maternal care. Such a preference memory can last from hours, to days, even life-long, depending on training parameters. Early odor preference learning provides us with a model in which the critical changes for a natural(More)
Here we demonstrate metaplastic effect of a change in NMDA receptor (NMDAR) number in the anterior piriform cortex (aPC) in rat induced by a 10 min pairing of peppermint odor + stroking, which significantly modifies later learning and memory. Using isolated synaptoneurosomes, we found NR1 receptor downregulation 3 h after training and upregulation at 24 h.(More)
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