Experience-dependent effects of muscimol-induced hippocampal excitation on mnemonic discrimination

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Sarah A JohnsonSara N Burke


Memory requires similar episodes with overlapping features to be represented distinctly, a process that is disrupted in many clinical conditions as well as normal aging. Data from humans have linked this ability to activity in hippocampal CA3 and dentate gyrus (DG). While animal models have shown the perirhinal cortex is critical for disambiguating similar stimuli, hippocampal activity has not been causally linked to discrimination abilities. The goal of the current study was to determine how disrupting CA3/DG activity would impact performance on a rodent mnemonic discrimination task. Rats were surgically implanted with bilateral guide cannulae targeting dorsal CA3/DG. In Exp.1, the effect of intra-hippocampal muscimol on target-lure discrimination was assessed within subjects in randomized blocks. Muscimol initially impaired discrimination across all levels of target-lure similarity, but performance improved on subsequent test blocks irrespective of stimulus similarity and infusion condition. To clarify these results, Exp.2 examined whether prior experience with objects influenced the effect of muscimol on target-lure discrimination. Rats that received vehicle infusions in a first test block, followed by muscimol in a second b...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Cerebral Cortex
Objective (Goal)
Hippocampus (Brain)
Implantation Procedure
Laboratory Procedures

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