Behavioural and neurophysiological expression of visual categorization in the mouse medial prefrontal cortex

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Pais, Rui
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience
Categorization is a process that allows organisms to classify and respond to individual elements of any given experience based on their shared similarities, and to generalize their behavioural output to novel stimuli that share the same features. In this set of experiments we explored the underlying neural dynamics of visual categorization in mice by developing a virtual reality task using an automated touchscreen operant conditioning box. By gradually incrementing the number of exemplars available in a pairwise object recognition task, mice learned to discriminate between virtual objects that belong to 2 main categories. We also tried to determine if the neural activity in the mouse prefrontal cortex, a region which has been associated with category representations in primates, reflected the acquisition of this new information. In order to do this we used in-vivo 2-photon calcium imaging to record the neural activity of a cohort of mice at different time points.
Dissertations, Academic , Animal behavior , Categorization (Psychology) , Neuropsychology , Prefrontal cortex , Virtual reality , Visual cognition