Plasticity cascades and place cell activity differ in new spatial learning based on context familiarity

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Fraser, Ellen
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience
In these experiments I have studied the effects of context familiarity on new spatial learning on a protein, behavioural, and cellular scale. I found evidence that there is greater expression of plasticity products in MEC-connected regions of the HPC in novel context learning and LEC-connected regions of the HPC in familiar context learning. Also in this experiment I observed a greater effect in downstream proteins, supporting the convergence of these cascades. In the second set of experiments I introduced the dry-land contextual navigation task and demonstrated learning in it. Furthermore, I compared the results in this task with rats in a water-based task and found that win-stay tendencies differ between the two tasks. Finally, in the last experiment I assessed place-cell activity in dorsal CA1 in freely-behaving mice in the DCNT. I found evidence of global remapping but not encoding of the reward.
Brain plasticity and reorganization , Cognition , Developmental neurobiology , Long-term Potentiation , Neural circuitry -- Adaptation , Neuroplasticity