Sex difference in rabbit eyelid conditioning
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The rabbit eyelid conditioned reflex has been used to compare associative learning in males and ovariectomized females. A new method for monitoring eyelid movements is described. Rabbits were trained on simple delay classical conditioning. Conditioned responses were recorded during 8 acquisition days and 6 days of extinction training. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the least significant difference (LSD) post hoc test was used to analyse the data. The results showed that males achieved significantly better learning than females during the 1st day of acquisition but later they slowly attained the best result, contrary to females. Moreover, extinction of the conditioned reflex was significantly faster in females than in males. It is postulated that females learn and extinguish faster than males because of a higher level of brain plasticity.
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M. Or?owska - Majdak, Department of Experimental and Clinical Physiology, Institute of Physiology and Biochemistry, Medical University of Lodz, 6/8 Mazowiecka St., 92-215 Lodz, Poland