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Behav Brain Res. 2012 Jun 15;232(1):269-77. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2012.04.022. Epub 2012 Apr 21.

Differential roles of the dorsal hippocampal regions in the acquisition of spatial and temporal aspects of episodic-like memory.

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Memory Studies Laboratory, Physiology Department, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil.


Episodic memory refers to the recollection of what, where and when an event occurred. Computational models suggest that the dentate gyrus (DG) and the CA3 hippocampal subregions are involved in pattern separation and the rapid acquisition of episodes, while CA1 is involved in the formation of a temporal context. Most of the studies performed to test this hypothesis failed to simultaneously address the aspects of episodic memory. Recently, a new task of object recognition was validated in rats. In the first sample trial, the rat is exposed to four copies of an object. In second sample, the rat is exposed to four copies of a different object. In the test trial, two copies of each of the previous objects are presented. One copy of the object used in sample trial one is located in a different place, and it is expected to be the most explored. Our goal was to evaluate whether the pharmacological inactivation of the dorsal DG/CA3 and CA1 subregions could differentially impair the acquisition of the task. Inactivation of the DG/CA3 subregions impaired the spatial discrimination, while the temporal discrimination was preserved. Rats treated with muscimol in CA1 explored all the objects equally well, irrespective of place or presentation time. Our results are consistent with computational models that postulate a role for DG/CA3 in rapid encoding and in spatial pattern separation, and a role for CA1 in the in the formation of the temporal context of events and as well as in detecting spatial novelty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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