Learning & Memory
ISSN / EISSN : 1072-0502 / 1549-5485
Published by: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (10.1101)
Total articles ≅ 2,086
Latest articles in this journal
Learning & Memory, Volume 29, pp 171-180; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053587.122
Pavlovian fear conditioning is a widely used behavioral paradigm for studying associative learning in rodents. Despite early recognition that subjects may engage in a variety of both conditioned and unconditioned responses, the last several decades have seen the field narrow its focus to measure freezing as the sole indicator of conditioned fear. We previously reported that female rats were more likely than males to engage in darting, an escape-like conditioned response that is associated with heightened shock reactivity. To determine how experimental parameters contribute to the frequency of darting in both males and females, we manipulated factors such as chamber size, shock intensity, and number of trials. To better capture fear-related behavioral repertoires in our animals, we developed ScaredyRat, an open-source custom Python tool that analyzes Noldus Ethovision-generated raw data files to identify darters and quantify both conditioned and unconditioned responses. We found that, like freezing, conditioned darting occurrences scale with experimental alterations. While most darting occurs in females, we found that with an extended training protocol, darting can emerge in males as well. Collectively, our data suggest that darting reflects a behavioral switch in conditioned responding that is a product of an individual animal's sex, shock reactivity, and experimental parameters, underscoring the need for careful consideration of sex as a biological variable in classic learning paradigms.
Learning & Memory, Volume 29, pp 160-170; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053602.122
Theories of learning distinguish between elemental and configural stimulus processing depending on whether stimuli are processed independently or as whole configurations. Evidence for elemental processing comes from findings of summation in animals where a compound of two dissimilar stimuli is deemed to be more predictive than each stimulus alone, whereas configural processing is supported by experiments using similar stimuli in which summation is not found. However, in humans the summation effect is robust and impervious to similarity manipulations. In three experiments in human predictive learning, we show that summation can be obliterated when partially reinforced cues are added to the summands in training and tests. This lack of summation only holds when the partially reinforced cues are similar to the reinforced cues (experiment 1) and seems to depend on participants sampling only the most salient cue in each trial (experiments 2a and 2b) in a sequential visual search process. Instead of attributing our and others’ instances of lack of summation to the customary idea of configural processing, we offer a formal subsampling rule that might be applied to situations in which the stimuli are hard to parse from each other.
Learning & Memory, Volume 29, pp 155-159; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053538.121
A critical role of protein modifications such as phosphorylation and acetylation in synaptic plasticity and memory is well documented. Tyrosine sulfation plays important roles in several biological processes. However, its role in synaptic plasticity and memory is not well understood. Here, we show that sulfation contributes to long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampal slices. In addition, inhibition of sulfation impairs long-term memory in a spatial memory task without affecting acquisition or short-term memory. Furthermore, LTP-inducing stimulus enhances protein tyrosine sulfation. These results suggest an important role for tyrosine sulfation in LTP and memory.
Learning & Memory, Volume 29, pp 146-154; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053522.121
Working memory has been shown to rely on theta oscillations’ phase synchronicity for item encoding and recall. At the same time, saccadic eye movements during visual exploration have been observed to trigger theta-phase resets, raising the question of whether the neuronal substrates of mnemonic processing rely on motor-evoked responses. To quantify the relationship between saccades and working memory load, we recorded eye tracking and behavioral data from human participants simultaneously performing an n-back Sternberg auditory task and a hue-based catch detection task. In addition to task-specific interference in performance, we also found that saccade rate was modulated by working memory load in the Sternberg task's preresponse stage. Our results support the possibility of interplay between saccades and hippocampal theta during working memory retrieval of items.
Learning & Memory, Volume 29, pp 142-145; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053555.121
Dopamine participates in encoding memories and could either encode rewarding/aversive value of unconditioned stimuli or act as a novelty signal triggering contextual learning. Here we show that intraperitoneal injection of the dopamine D1/5R antagonist SCH23390 impairs contextual fear conditioning and tone-shock association, while intrahippocampal injection only impairs contextual fear conditioning. By using the context pre-exposure facilitation effect test, we show that SCH23390 is able to block the encoding of the context during the pre-exposure phase. Thus, we provide additional evidence that dopamine is involved in encoding conjunctive representations of new contexts.
Learning & Memory, Volume 29, pp 136-141; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053562.121
Reinstating the olfactory learning context can increase access to memory information, but it is not fully clear which memory functions are subject to an enhancing odor context reinstatement effect. Here, we tested whether congruent odor context during encoding and recall positively affected declarative and nondeclarative memory scores using a novel method for manipulation of an odorous environment; namely, intranasal Nosa plugs. Recall of a text and a complex figure as well as performance in a priming task were assessed immediately and 1 wk after encoding. We found that congruent odor exposure at encoding and recall aided free retrieval of a story at delayed testing but had no significant effect on a complex figure recall or a word completion task. Differences between the assessed memory indices suggest that olfactory environmental cues may be primarily efficient in free verbal recall tasks.
Learning & Memory, Volume 29, pp 120-125; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053578.122
We observed differences in cognitive functions between middle-aged female and male Wistar rats. Both (like youngsters) discriminated new versus familiar objects, showing similar short- and long-term memory (STM and LTM, respectively). Only females show robust LTM for new location of an object. Both successfully form LTM of inhibitory avoidance, though males appeared to be amnesic for memory persistence. Habituation, locomotion, horizontal exploration, “stereotypies,” fear, and anxiety-like behavior were similar for both, while vertical exploration was significantly higher in middle-aged and younger females. Therefore, sex-dependent differences in some cognitive functions and behaviors must be considered when designing and interpreting learning and memory studies.
Learning & Memory, Volume 29, pp 126-135; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053553.121
During associative retrieval, the brain reinstates neural representations that were present during encoding. The human medial temporal lobe (MTL), with its subregions hippocampus (HC), perirhinal cortex (PRC), and parahippocampal cortex (PHC), plays a central role in neural reinstatement. Previous studies have given compelling evidence for reinstatement in the MTL during explicitly instructed associative retrieval. High-confident recognition may be similarly accompanied by recollection of associated information from the encoding context. It is unclear, however, whether high-confident recognition memory elicits reinstatement in the MTL even in the absence of an explicit instruction to retrieve associated information. Here, we addressed this open question using high-resolution fMRI. Twenty-eight male and female human volunteers engaged in a recognition memory task for words that they had previously encoded together with faces and scenes. Using complementary univariate and multivariate approaches, we show that MTL subregions including the PRC, PHC, and HC differentially reinstate category-sensitive representations during high-confident word recognition, even though no explicit instruction to retrieve the associated category was given. This constitutes novel evidence that high-confident recognition memory is accompanied by incidental reinstatement of associated category information in MTL subregions, and supports a functional model of the MTL that emphasizes content-sensitive representations during both encoding and retrieval.
Learning & Memory, Volume 29, pp 110-119; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053542.121
In hippocampal CA1 neurons of wild-type mice, a short tetanus (15 or 20 pulses at 100 Hz) or a standard tetanus (100 pulses at 100 Hz) to a naive input pathway induces long-term potentiation (LTP) of the responses. Low-frequency stimulation (LFS; 1000 pulses at 1 Hz) 60 min after the standard tetanus reverses LTP (depotentiation [DP]), while LFS applied 60 min prior to the standard tetanus suppresses LTP induction (LTP suppression). We investigated LTP, DP, and LTP suppression of both field excitatory postsynaptic potentials and population spikes in CA1 neurons of mice lacking the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor (IP3R)-binding protein released with IP3 (IRBIT). The mean magnitudes of LTP induced by short and standard tetanus were not different in mutant and wild-type mice. In contrast, DP and LTP suppression were attenuated in mutant mice, whereby the mean magnitude of responses after LFS or tetanus were significantly greater than in wild-type mice. These results suggest that, in hippocampal CA1 neurons, IRBIT is involved in DP and LTP suppression, but is not essential for LTP. The attenuation of DP and LTP suppression in mice lacking IRBIT indicates that this protein, released during or after priming stimulations, determines the direction of LTP expression after the delivery of subsequent stimulations.
Learning & Memory, Volume 29, pp 100-109; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.053556.121
Neural network dynamics underlying flexible animal behaviors remain elusive. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is considered an excellent model in behavioral neuroscience because of its simple neuroanatomical architecture and the availability of various genetic methods. Moreover, Drosophila larvae's transparent body allows investigators to use optical methods on freely moving animals, broadening research directions. Activating or inhibiting well-defined events in excitable cells with a fine temporal resolution using optogenetics and thermogenetics led to the association of functions of defined neural populations with specific behavioral outputs such as the induction of associative memory. Furthermore, combining optogenetics and thermogenetics with state-of-the-art approaches, including connectome mapping and machine learning-based behavioral quantification, might provide a complete view of the experience- and time-dependent variations of behavioral responses. These methodologies allow further understanding of the functional connections between neural circuits and behaviors such as chemosensory, motivational, courtship, and feeding behaviors and sleep, learning, and memory.