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Author (up) D'Hooge, R.; De Deyn, P.P. file  url
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  Title Applications of the Morris water maze in the study of learning and memory Type Journal Article
  Year 2001 Publication Brain Research. Brain Research Reviews Abbreviated Journal Brain Res Brain Res Rev  
  Volume 36 Issue 1 Pages 60-90  
  Keywords Animals; Behavior, Animal/*physiology; Brain/cytology/*physiology; Denervation/adverse effects; Disease Models, Animal; Maze Learning/*physiology; Memory/*physiology; Mice; Nerve Net/cytology/*physiology; Neurotransmitter Agents/metabolism; Rats; Rodentia/anatomy & histology/*physiology; Space Perception/*physiology  
  Abstract The Morris water maze (MWM) was described 20 years ago as a device to investigate spatial learning and memory in laboratory rats. In the meanwhile, it has become one of the most frequently used laboratory tools in behavioral neuroscience. Many methodological variations of the MWM task have been and are being used by research groups in many different applications. However, researchers have become increasingly aware that MWM performance is influenced by factors such as apparatus or training procedure as well as by the characteristics of the experimental animals (sex, species/strain, age, nutritional state, exposure to stress or infection). Lesions in distinct brain regions like hippocampus, striatum, basal forebrain, cerebellum and cerebral cortex were shown to impair MWM performance, but disconnecting rather than destroying brain regions relevant for spatial learning may impair MWM performance as well. Spatial learning in general and MWM performance in particular appear to depend upon the coordinated action of different brain regions and neurotransmitter systems constituting a functionally integrated neural network. Finally, the MWM task has often been used in the validation of rodent models for neurocognitive disorders and the evaluation of possible neurocognitive treatments. Through its many applications, MWM testing gained a position at the very core of contemporary neuroscience research.  
  Call Number Serial 1556  
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Author (up) Stancampiano, R.; Cocco, S.; Cugusi, C.; Sarais, L.; Fadda, F. file  url
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  Title Serotonin and acetylcholine release response in the rat hippocampus during a spatial memory task Type Journal Article
  Year 1999 Publication Neuroscience Abbreviated Journal Neuroscience  
  Volume 89 Issue 4 Pages 1135-1143  
  Keywords Acetylcholine/*metabolism; Analysis of Variance; Animals; Hippocampus/*physiology; Male; Maze Learning/*physiology; Memory/*physiology; Microdialysis; Rats; Rats, Sprague-Dawley; Reinforcement (Psychology); Reward; Serotonin/*metabolism; Space Perception; Time Factors  
  Abstract By using in vivo microdialysis we monitored the extracellular levels of acetylcholine and serotonin in the hippocampus of rats performing a spatial memory task. After rats were trained for 10 consecutive days to master a food-reinforced radial-arm maze task, they were implanted with a microdialysis probe in the dorsal hippocampus. On day 12, rats were tested in the maze and acetylcholine and serotonin outputs were monitored before the test, during the waiting phase and while performing the trials. In trained, food-rewarded rats, hippocampal acetylcholine levels increased during the waiting period (181 +/- 90 of baseline) and further increased during the radial-maze performance to 236 +/- 13% of baseline values, while serotonin levels did not change during the waiting period but increased to 142 +/- 3% during the maze performance. To discriminate whether the increase of acetylcholine and serotonin levels during the testing was associated with memory performance or with food consumption, we monitored hippocampal acetylcholine and serotonin release in rats that were trained, but not food rewarded, or in rats that were not trained, but rewarded only on the test day. In the trained, non-rewarded group, acetylcholine release increased during the waiting phase to 168 +/- 6%, but did not increase further during the task performance. In contrast, no change in serotonin release was observed in this group in any phase of the test. In rats which were not trained, but food rewarded, acetylcholine increased only during the maze period (150 +/- 5%). Serotonin increased gradually and become significant at the end of the trials. (130 +/- 3%). While both neurotransmitters could be implicated in feeding behaviour, only activation of cholinergic neurotransmission appears to be associated with memory function. Our results support the following hypotheses: (i) hippocampal acetylcholine could be involved in attentional and cognitive functions underlying motivational processes; (ii) serotonin could be implicated in non-cognitive processes (i.e. in the control of motor and feeding behaviour). Since serotonin and acetylcholine neurotransmission is simultaneously activated during the spatial memory task, this suggests that these neurotransmitter systems regulate behavioural and cognitive functions.  
  Call Number Serial 1501  
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