Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Circadian modulation of rodent performance in a spatial task

Presenter Information

Jacob BlotterFollow
Mona BuhusiFollow

Class

Article

Department

Biology

Faculty Mentor

Mona Buhusi

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

The brain's ability to learn and remember is a topic of extensive debate and research in neuroscience. Mammals share many similarities, including the way in which information from the outside world is processed and stored. Mammalian circadian rhythms have long been thought to be essentially involved with these processes. We explored rodent abilities to acquire and store information at different times of the day in a spatial memory task. Since the brain tends to perform better in cognitive tasks during the active phase, we hypothesized that mice that learn during the dark phase-which is their active phase-will perform better in the spatial learning and memory task than mice that learn during the light phase. We also hypothesized that mouse brains will show differences in activation of arousal pathways during the dark and light phases. Our results confirmed better acquisition and performance of the spatial task when training occurred during the dark phase and differences in neuronal activation during the course of the day in brain structures involved in wakefulness and arousal.

Start Date

4-9-2015 3:00 PM

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Apr 9th, 3:00 PM

Circadian modulation of rodent performance in a spatial task

The brain's ability to learn and remember is a topic of extensive debate and research in neuroscience. Mammals share many similarities, including the way in which information from the outside world is processed and stored. Mammalian circadian rhythms have long been thought to be essentially involved with these processes. We explored rodent abilities to acquire and store information at different times of the day in a spatial memory task. Since the brain tends to perform better in cognitive tasks during the active phase, we hypothesized that mice that learn during the dark phase-which is their active phase-will perform better in the spatial learning and memory task than mice that learn during the light phase. We also hypothesized that mouse brains will show differences in activation of arousal pathways during the dark and light phases. Our results confirmed better acquisition and performance of the spatial task when training occurred during the dark phase and differences in neuronal activation during the course of the day in brain structures involved in wakefulness and arousal.