Assessment of forebrain-dependent trace eyeblink conditioning in chronic cannabis users

Chad R. Edwards, Patrick D. Skosnik, Adam B. Steinmetz, Jennifer M. Vollmer, Brian F. O'Donnell, William P. Hetrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

While CB1 knockout mice exhibit striking impairments on a cerebellar-dependent task called delay eyeblink conditioning (dEBC), these animals demonstrate intact forebrain-dependent trace EBC (tEBC). Although heavy human cannabis users also show impaired delay EBC, their performance on tEBC is currently unknown. Therefore, 13 heavy cannabis users and 13 cannabis naive controls completed a tEBC procedure. The cannabis group exhibited similar rates of conditioned responding compared to controls in the acquisition and extinction phase. Consistent with reports of overt attentional abnormalities, the cannabis group exhibited decreased N100 ERP amplitudes to the tone CS that were unrelated to mean levels of conditioning across blocks during the acquisition phase. The lack of a significant effect of heavy cannabis use on tEBC reported here, combined with the previous report of impaired dEBC in such users, mirrors the findings observed in CB1 knockout mice, and suggests that the cannabinoid system differentially mediates forebrain- and cerebellar-dependent learning processes in both humans and animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-268
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume439
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 18 2008

Keywords

  • Associative learning
  • Cannabis
  • CB1 receptor
  • Hippocampus
  • N100
  • THC
  • Trace eyeblink conditioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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