Perinatal choline supplementation reveals a dissociation between two types of spatial strategies.


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Perinatal choline supplementation reveals a dissociation between two types of spatial strategies.
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Neural Plasticity
Brandner C., Schenk F.
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Choline supplementation improving memory functions in rodents is assumed to increase the synthesis and release of acetylcholine in the brain. We have found that a combined pre- and postnatal supplementation results in long-lasting facilitation of spatial memory in juvenile rats when training was conducted in presence of a local salient cue. The present work was aimed at analysing the effects of peri- and postnatal choline supplementation on spatial abilities of naive adult rats. Rats given a perinatal choline supplementation were trained in various cued procedures of the Morris navigation task when aged 5 months. The treatment had a specific effect of reducing the escape latency of the rats when the platform was at a fixed position in space and surrounded by a suspended cue. This effect was associated with an increased spatial bias when the cue and platform were removed. In this condition, the control rats showed impaired spatial discrimination following the removal of the target cue, most likely due to an overshadowing of the distant environmental cues. This impairment was not observed in the treated rats.
Further training with the suspended cue at unpredictable places in the pool revealed longer escape latencies in the control than in the treated rats suggesting that this procedure induced a selective perturbation of the normal but not of the treated rats. A special probe trial with the cue at an irrelevant position and no escape platform revealed a significant bias of the control rats toward the cue and of the treated rats toward the uncued spatial escape position. This behavioural dissociation suggests that a salient cue associated with the target induces an alternative "non spatial" guidance strategy in normal rats, with the risk of overshadowing of the more distant spatial cues. In this condition, the choline supplementation facilities a spatial reliance on the cue, that is an overall facilitation of learning a set of spatial relations between several visual cues. As a consequence, the improved escape in presence of the cue is associated with a stronger memory of the spatial position following disappearance of the cue. This and previous observations suggest that a specific spatial attention process relies on the buffering of highly salient visual facilitate integration of their relative position in the environment.
Open Access
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19/11/2007 9:27
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20/08/2019 12:25
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