We compared the effects of chronic and acute food deprivation on learning and memory using a dry-type water maze, active avoidance and passive avoidance in C57BL/6L mice. The drive level of the animals - under acute and chronic food deprivation - was matched by a progressive ratio schedule. Both deprivations led to a high degree of activity in the animals; however, the animals on an acute dietary restriction did not exhibit a significantly better performance than those on ad libitum feeding, while those on a chronic food deprivation exhibited memory enhancement. These effects were subtle and were found at a later stage of learning. These findings suggest that chronic food restriction induces memory consolidation or resistance to memory reduction in addition to increased activity.
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