Conditioned effects in the kindling model of epilepsy

Mild electrical stimulation of various brain sites leads to the development of seizures, which intensify over time. Called the kindling phenomenon, this process has been widely studied as a model of epilepsy, neuroplasticity (learning, memory and various mental disorders) and the interictal (emotional) changes that occur between seizures in certain types of epilepsy. In his previous research, Steven Barnes demonstrated that learning plays a major role in this process. His studies show that rats learn to associate particular environments with seizures and this awareness greatly affects the intensity of seizures and interictal behaviours. People with epilepsy also tend to have more seizures in certain situations than others, a pattern that has not been widely studied. Steven is investigating how conditioning affects these responses. His research will ultimately reveal insights about the role of conditioning in the kindling phenomenon associated with epilepsy.