Aluminum (Al) has been proven to be a behavioral teratogenic agent in a number of experimental studies. Prenatal exposures to Al lactate have been shown to cause cognitive deficits in a variety of species. The present experiment was carried out on SPRD rat pups treated prenatally with Al lactate to determine whether observational conditioning (social learning) would reverse the impairment in learning described previously following such treatment. A conditioned avoidance response was used as an observational learning task. The results provide evidence that Al-treated pups are capable of social learning (i.e., the performance of the avoidance response improved as a result of observational learning); however, the response latency of the avoidance response was not different in these animals from those that were not exposed to such facilitation, suggesting that additional factors are involved in the effects of prenatal aluminum intoxication on cognitive processes.
- Observational conditioning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience