A group of rats was trained to escape low-intensity shock in a shuttle-box test, while another group of yoked controls could not escape but was exposed to the same amount and regime of shock. After 1 week of training, long-term potentiation (LTP) was measured in vitro in hippocampal slices. Exposure to uncontrollable shock massively impaired LTP relative to exposure to the same amount and regime of controllable shock. These results provide evidence that controllability modulates plasticity at the cellular-neuronal level.
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