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Title: Functional differentiation along the dorso-ventral axis of the hippocampus
Author: Manganaro, Alessia
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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The hippocampus plays an important role in the processing of spatial memory. During exploration, theta oscillations (4-12 Hz) are prominent in the hippocampus, whereas during sleep and rest irregular sharp wave/ripple (SWR) events occur spontaneously in the hippocampus and may support memory consolidation. To date, the ventral sub-region of the rodents hippocampus, has received less attention relative to the more accessible dorsal part. It has been suggested that spatial information decreases along the septo-temporal axis in favour of coding salient features and coordinated oscillatory activity might enable the binding of spatial and nonspatial information. The first goal of my research was to investigate how the spatial representation by dorsal and ventral neurons is organised by theta oscillations in the hippocampal network. The second goal was to investigate the role of the ventral hippocampus in spatial learning. Finally, the third goal examined to what extent the firing relationships established during spatial learning are replayed during subsequent sleep in the ventral CA1. I recorded the network activity of dorsal and ventral CA1 in rats performing a spatial memory task on the cheese board maze (Dupret et al., 2010). By using parallel multi-channel extracellular recordings in the dorsal and ventral portions of the hippocampus in behaving rats, I found that dorsal and ventral CA1 were theta coupled at particular times of the spatial learning. High coherence periods across the two regions were characterized by a strong speed-modulation of ventral theta oscillations, which was absent in other conditions. During sleep, it was found that SWR-related activity was presented in the ventral hippocampus as well, when the coordinated population activity established in spatial learning was reactivated within the two sub-regions. By contrast, reactivation across the two regions was observed outside the SWRs epochs. Overall, the data suggests that the ventral hippocampus might be involved in the processing of salient features of the environment such as rewards. On a temporal scale, this non-spatial information might be integrated to the spatial information provided by the dorsal hippocampus during theta oscillation. During sleep/rest periods, the coordinated communication of learned information might underlie the consolidation of memory traces.
Supervisor: Csicsvari, J.; Somogyi, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physiology and anatomy ; Biology (medical sciences) ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Learning ; Memory ; Hippocampus ; spatial memory ; electrophysiology