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Title: Use of immediate-early gene expression to map relationships between limbic structures supporting memory
Author: Albasser, Mathieu M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 3642
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis explores the influence of brain regions within the "extended hippocampal memory system" on the activity of the retrosplenial cortex in the rat. One of the first goals was to use lesion studies to improve the understanding of the vulnerability of the retrosplenial cortex, especially in the context of diencephalic and temporal lobe amnesia. The second was to assess what are the brain areas within the temporal lobe involved in object recognition and how they interact. These two objectives were made possible by visualising immediate-early gene expression. By combining this technique with lesions, distal effects of different lesions (hippocampus, mammillothalamic tract and fornix) on the activity of the retrosplenial cortex were measured. For object recognition, the immediate-early gene imaging enabled the assessment of normal brain activity in rats associated with behavioural discrimination of novelty. The lesion studies provide information about the specific and common vulnerability of the retrosplenial cortex, as all three distal lesions resulted in a decrease of immediate-early gene activity in the retrosplenial cortex. In addition, these findings unify diencephalic amnesia with temporal amnesia, and emphasize the need to study networks or systems instead of individual structure. The immediate-early gene/object recognition experiment implicated the caudal part of the perirhinal cortex (and Te2) and of the hippocampus in object recognition, and highlighted the importance of mapping brain region relationships within a connected system. Taken together, these experiments provide clear support for the concept of an extended hippocampal memory system, but also show how this system may interact with other structures involved in different forms of memory. The findings underlie the potential afforded by use of immediate-early gene expression techniques in animal studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available