Distributed interactive brain circuits for object-in-place memory: A place for time?

17th Jul 2020

Memory tests based on patterns of spontaneous exploration have become standard assays of rodent cognition. One such test, ‘object-in-place’, recently published in the British Neuroscience Association (BNA) journal, Brain and Neuroscience Advances, examines the ability to associate a specific object with a specific location.

This test takes advantage of the preferred exploration given to those objects that have changed location since their initial exposure. This review, undertaken by John Aggleton and Andrew Nelson at the School of Psychology, Cardiff University examines the cognitive demands of this task.

A place for time?

A first question is whether brain sites critical for two component problems (recognising an object and recognising a place) are both necessary and sufficient for object-in-place learning.

It was found that while brain structures required for these component problems are indeed necessary, they are not sufficient. In particular, several sites, all closely linked with prefrontal cortex become necessary for the more complex, object-in-place task. Comparisons with other spontaneous memory tasks revealed a consistent overlap between sites necessary for ‘object-in-place’ and those necessary for ‘object recency’ (the greater preference for objects from further back in time).

This overlap suggests that a further cognitive demand in object-in-place tasks is the ability to maintain the temporal distinction and reduce interference between the initial exposure and the subsequent test phase, in which some objects are spatially rearranged.

Click here to read the full article.

About Brain and Neuroscience Advances  

Brain and Neuroscience Advances is a peer-reviewed, open access journal, which publishes high quality translational and clinical articles from all neuroscience disciplines; including molecular, cellular, systems, behavioural and cognitive investigations.

The journal welcomes submissions in basic, translational and/or clinical neuroscience. Research papers should present novel, empirical results that are expected to be of interest to a broad spectrum of neuroscientists working in the laboratory, field or clinic. 

Brain and Neuroscience Advances is now indexed in PubMed Central.

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