Article: article from journal or magazin.
Nutritional deficits during early development affect hippocampal structure and spatial memory later in life
Publication types: Comparative Study ; Journal Article ; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural Publication Status: ppublish
Development rates vary among individuals, often as a result of direct competition for food. Survival of young might depend on their learning abilities, but it remains unclear whether learning abilities are affected by nutrition during development. The authors demonstrated that compared with controls, 1-year-old Western scrub jays (Aphelocoma californica) that experienced nutritional deficits during early posthatching development had smaller hippocampi with fewer neurons and performed worse in a cache recovery task and in a spatial version of an associative learning task. In contrast, performance of nutritionally deprived birds was similar to that of controls in 2 color versions of an associative learning task. These findings suggest that nutritional deficits during early development have long-term consequences for hippocampal structure and spatial memory, which, in turn, are likely to have a strong impact on animals' future fitness.
Age Factors, Animals, Association Learning/physiology, Behavior, Animal, Birds, Body Mass Index, Chi-Square Distribution, Hippocampus/growth & development, Hippocampus/physiopathology, Malnutrition/physiopathology, Memory/physiology, Spatial Behavior/physiology
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