The status of classical conditioning in human amnesia was examined by comparing conditioning of the eyeblink response (the unconditional response) to a tone conditioned stimulus (CS) paired with an airpuff unconditioned stimulus (US) in the delay paradigm between 7 amnesic and 7 age-and education-matched normal control participants. Amnesic patients exhibited normal baseline performance in pseudoconditioning and normal acquisition and extinction of conditioned responses in terms of the number, latency, and magnitude of eyeblinks. These results indicate that in humans, as in rabbits, brain structures critical for declarative memory are not essential for the acquisition of elementary CS-US associations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience