Delayed development of amnesia following electroconvulsive shock

James L. McGaugh, Philip W. Landfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Mice in Experiment 1 were given ECS either 8 sec or 20 sec following 1 training trial on an inhibitory avoidance task. A retention test was given 1, 6 or 24 hr later. In the 20 sec ECS delay groups retention performance was high at the 1 hr test but low at the 6 and 24 hr tests. In the 8 sec ECS delay group the retention performance was low at both the 1 hr and 24 hr tests. Response latencies 1 hr following treatments were not increased by ECS only or ECS following a noncontingent footshock. Experiment 2 examined state-dependency interpretations of these effects. Mice received either ECS or no ECS 20 sec after a training trial. One week later the mice received either an ECS or no ECS 1 hr prior to a retention test. Reinstatement of the ECS state did not enhance retention: the second ECS did not produce high retention latencies in mice given posttraining ECS. The findings are consistent with the view that amnesia develops as short term memory processes decline following ECS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1113
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1970

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Fellowship 1 FO1 MH 45374-01 from the National Institute

Funding Information:
Apparatus. The apparatus was similar to that used by Geller and Jarvik \[4\]a nd Ray and Barrett \[15\]. See Jarvik and Kopp \[10\]f or a detailed description. A trough-shaped straight alley was divided into 2 compartments, one 7.5 cm long and the other 24 cm long, by a partition with a 2.5 cm by 2.5 cm hole. Both compartments were 14 cm high. The 1This research was supported by Research Grant MH 12526 and predoctoral of Mental Health, United States Public Health Service.


  • Amnesia
  • Electroconvulsive shock
  • Short term retention
  • State-dependency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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