Recent Experiments in Memory Transfer
UNGAR and his colleagues have recently identified and synthesized a polypeptide that appears to cause avoidance of a dark chamber when injected into mice in doses of 0.5 micrograms. UNGAR has called this substance “scotophobin”, and has provided samples for testing in our laboratory. Our initial attempts to replicate UNGAR’s work yielded success, but only when we injected our mice with 3 to 6 times as much scotophobin as UNGAR found most effective. When we controlled for possible degradation of the material, however, we obtained results similar to those from UNGAR’s laboratory. Additional research suggests that the effect is highly specific to the experimental situation in which scotophobin was originally obtained and that scotophobin does not merely cause an increase in general emotionality or a generalized “fear of the dark”. New behavioral measures of the strength of the effect have proved at least as sensitive as the older way of merely counting the number of seconds that injected animals spent in dark or white chambers.
KeywordsDark Chamber Dark Compartment Memory Transfer Recipient Animal Donor Animal
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