In recent years there has been an increase in interest in hemispheric lateralization on animals such as mice, birds and fish, with important results found in studies with birds, especially pigeons. In birds, the left hippocampus and the right hippocampus appear to have differential involvement in processes of learning space, inhibitory avoidance, and on the classical aversive conditioning. However, it remains unknown why there are such differences on the role of the hippocampus and what patterns of cellular and molecular mechanisms would characterize these different functions of right and left hippocampi. The objective of this study is to investigate the hemispheric lateralization of the distribution of AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4- propionic acid) glutamatergic receptors in the hippocampus of pigeons after the acquisition and retrieval of aversive contextual conditioning. Pigeons (C. lívia) will be used and they will be allocated to: experimental group, control group, non-paired group and not trained group (handling). There will be training in the classical aversive conditioning, with three pairings of sound and shock. The non-paired group will receive sound and shock in random order and control group will only be exposed to the trial chamber. The test to the context will occur 24 hours after the training. The sessions will be digitally recorded and later transcribed for the record of the number and duration of behaviors by the use of the software ETHOLOG (OTTONI, 2000). Animals of all groups will be sacrificed after test and/or manipulation. The immunohistochemical technique will be used to describe the distribution of hipocampal GluR1 subunit of the AMPA receptors in the right and the left hippocampi. Statistical comparisons will use ANOVA and multiple post-hoc comparisons with the Tukey-Kramer test.
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