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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The effects of reversible inactivations of the hippocampus on exploratory activity and spatial memory.

This study was aimed at testing the effects of a reversible inactivation of the ventral hippocampus on behavior in response to a change, following a period of habituation with a hippocampus that functions normally. A new dishabituation paradigm was used, which allowed the testing of visuospatial memory. A salient stimulus was placed under the glass floor of the apparatus during initial exploration and was removed during the test session. The time spent above the zone where the stimulus was initially located indicated the rats' reaction to the change. Unlike the control rats who reacted to the removal of the salient stimulus by reexploring its previous location, lidocaine-injected subjects did not display any similar searching behavior. Experiment 2 examined the hypothesis that landmarks located under the floor could help hippocampus-inactivated animals to accurately react to the change. Two objects were located either close to the stimulus or some distance away from it. Even when the objects were closely associated to the stimulus, the same failure to react to the removal of the stimulus was found in lidocaine-injected rats. However, these animals displayed a higher activity level measured by the time spent on a "neutral" zone. This behavioral pattern suggests a specific localization deficit. The method of reversible inactivation appears to be a promising approach to the study of the time course of memory process with short-term experimental paradigms such as those used in the present study.[1]


  1. The effects of reversible inactivations of the hippocampus on exploratory activity and spatial memory. Thinus-Blanc, C., Save, E., Poucet, B., Buhot, M.C. Hippocampus. (1991) [Pubmed]
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