The literature on the effects of ovarian hormones on rodent learning and memory is mixed. In this study, the authors examined the role of task stressfulness. Female hooded rats were tested during proestrus or estrus on the hidden-platform water maze in warm (33 °C) or cold (19 °C) water. There were no effects of cycle or temperature, but estrous phase interacted with temperature such that proestrous rats performed better overall under the warm condition and estrous rats performed better under the cold condition. Plasma corticosterone, measured after 4 trials, varied significantly with estrous phase. Water temperature, perhaps through stress, influences the effect of estrous phase on water maze performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience