Jun 2, 2020

A Dual Reward-Place Association Task to Study the Preferential Retention of Relevant Memories in Rats

Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Frederic MichonFabian Kloosterman


Memories of past events and common knowledge are critical to flexibly adjust one's future behavior based on prior experiences. The formation and the transformation of these memories into a long-lasting form are supported by a dialogue between populations of neurons in the cortex and the hippocampus. Not all experiences are remembered equally well or equally long. It has been demonstrated experimentally in humans that memory strength positively relates to the behavioral relevance of the associated experience. Behavioral paradigms that test the selective retention of memory in rodents would enable further investigation of the neuronal mechanisms at play. We developed a novel paradigm to follow the repeated acquisition and retrieval of two contextually distinct, yet concurrently learned, food-place associations in rats. We demonstrated the use of this paradigm by varying the amount of reward associated with the two locations. After delays of 2 h or 20 h, rats showed better memory performance for experience associated with large amount of reward. This effect depends on the level of spatial integration required to retrieve the associated location. Thus, this paradigm is suited to study the preferential retention of relevant experien...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cerebral Cortex
Transformation, Genetic
Hippocampus (Brain)

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