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Neural Plasticity
Volume 10 (2003), Issue 4, Pages 291-301

Cerebellar and Hippocampal Activation During Eyeblink Conditioning Depends on the Experimental Paradigm: A MEG Study

1Department of Clinical & Physiological Psychology, Germany
2Bender Institute of Neuroimaging, University of Giessen, Germany
3Department of Neurology, University of Heidelberg, Germany
4Department of psychology, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The cerebellum and the hippocampus are key structures for the acquisition of conditioned eyeblink responses. Whereas the cerebellum seems to be crucial for all types of eyeblink conditioning, the hippocampus appears to be involved only in complex types of learning. We conducted a differential conditioning study to explore the suitability of the design for magnetencephalography (MEG). In addition, we compared cerebellar and hippocampal activation during differential delay and trace conditioning. Comparable conditioning effects were seen in both conditions, but a greater resistance to extinction for trace conditioning. Brain activation differed between paradigms: delay conditioning provoked activation only in the cerebellum and trace conditioning only in the hippocampus. The results reflect differential brain activation patterns during the two types of eyeblink conditioning.