A Role for Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Learning and Memory Essay

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Hippocampal neurogenesis
Neurogenesis is the birth of new neurons. It is a multistep process which consists of asymmetric division of neural stems ultimately leading to the generation of new neurons. In the hippocampus, neurogenesis occurs predominantly during embryonic development and also during adulthood (Altman and Das, 1965). In the human brain, adult neurogenesis occurs in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus throughout life (Eriksson et al., 1998). Newly formed cells in the subgranular layer then migrate to the granular layer of the dentate gyrus where they express a neuronal phenotype (Kuhn et al., 1996). These adult-formed granule cells are …show more content…

The mice were placed in an open-field square which had a striped pattern on one wall of the field. Two identical objects were placed in the field. The test consisted of an exploration phase and a test phase. During the exploration phase the MAM treated mice as well as the control mice spent the same amount of time exploring the objects. However during the test phase, in which one object was moved to a new location, the MAM treated mice spent a significantly less amount of time exploring the object in the new location in comparison to the control mice. This suggests that the MAM treated mice were unable to discriminate between the novel and familiar location (Goodman et al., 2010).
The Morris Water Maze (MWM) is a behavioural test that can test the hippocampal dependent spatial learning ability of rodents. Rodents with hippocampal lesions show impaired performance in this test (Morris et al., 1982). Evidence suggests that neurogenesis is involved in long term spatial memory of rodents. Rats were subjected to whole brain irradiation to eliminate adult neurogenesis. Rats were placed in a circular pool of water with a submerged platform in one of its quadrants. The platform was not visible due to the water being opaque. There were spatial cues around the circular pool that could be used as cues to learn the spatial location of the platform. The

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