NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1157798
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0502
Experiential Learning in Rodents: Past Experience Enables Rapid Learning and Localized Encoding in Hippocampus
Cox, Conor D.; Palmer, Linda C.; Pham, Danielle T.; Trieu, Brian H.; Gall, Christine M.; Lynch, Gary
Learning & Memory, v24 n11 p569-579 Nov 2017
Humans routinely use past experience with complexity to deal with novel, challenging circumstances. This fundamental aspect of real-world behavior has received surprisingly little attention in animal studies, and the underlying brain mechanisms are unknown. The present experiments tested for transfer from past experience in rats and then used quantitative imaging to localize synaptic modifications in hippocampus. Six daily exposures to an enriched environment (EE) caused a marked enhancement of short- and long-term memory encoded during a 30-min session in a different and complex environment relative to rats given extensive handling or access to running wheels. Relatedly, the EE animals investigated the novel environment in a different manner than the other groups, suggesting transfer of exploration strategies acquired in earlier interactions with complexity. This effect was not associated with changes in the number or size of excitatory synapses in hippocampus. Maps of synapses expressing a marker for long-term potentiation indicated that encoding in the EE group, relative to control animals, was concentrated in hippocampal field CA1. Importantly, <1% of the total population of synapses was involved in production of the regional map. These results constitute the first evidence that the transfer of experience profoundly affects the manner in which hippocampus encodes complex information.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. 500 Sunnyside Boulevard, Woodbury, NY 11797-2924. Tel: 800-843-4388; Tel: 516-367-8800; Fax: 516-422-4097; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A