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ERIC Number: EJ892610
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0502
The Shift from a Response Strategy to Object-in-Place Strategy during Learning Is Accompanied by a Matching Shift in Neural Firing Correlates in the Hippocampus
Lee, Inah; Kim, Jangjin
Learning & Memory, v17 n8 p381-393 Aug 2010
Hippocampal-dependent tasks often involve specific associations among stimuli (including egocentric information), and such tasks are therefore prone to interference from irrelevant task strategies before a correct strategy is found. Using an object-place paired-associate task, we investigated changes in neural firing patterns in the hippocampus in association with a shift in strategy during learning. We used an object-place paired-associate task in which a pair of objects was presented in two different arms of a radial maze. Each object was associated with reward only in one of the arms, thus requiring the rats to consider both object identity and its location in the maze. Hippocampal neurons recorded in CA1 displayed a dynamic transition in their firing patterns during the acquisition of the task across days, and this corresponded to a shift in strategy manifested in behavioral data. Specifically, before the rats learned the task, they chose an object that maintained a particular egocentric relationship with their body (response strategy) irrespective of the object identity. However, as the animal acquired the task, it chose an object according to both its identity and the associated location in the maze (object-in-place strategy). We report that CA1 neurons in the hippocampus changed their prospective firing correlates according to the dominant strategy (i.e., response versus object-in-place strategy) employed at a given stage of learning. The results suggest that neural firing pattern in the hippocampus is heavily influenced by the task demand hypothesized by the animal and the firing pattern changes flexibly as the perceived task demand changes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A