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Title: Familiarity-related neuronal responses under normal conditions and in an animal model of mental illness
Author: Baruchin, Liad
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 9675
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2017
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Recognition memory is one of the most basic types of memory. One type of recognition memory is visual familiarity, which is the sense that a visual stimulus has been encountered before. This type of memory is affected in different mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and autism. The perirhinal cortex, which is a part of the medial temporal lobe has long been believed to be crucial for recognition. This work had 2 main lines of research. The first part, described in chapters Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 , set out to investigate whether activity at either the population level or at the single-unit level in the mouse perirhinal cortex was correlated with visual familiarity. In these chapters, the recordings were made also in the visual cortex and the hippocampus to put the perirhinal response in the context of the activity both upstream and downstream from it, respectively. Visual stimuli evoked responses in the perirhinal cortex, no familiarity-related modulation could be detected at both levels of analysis. That was true even when the visual cortex demonstrated familiarity-related differences in response. The second part of the work, described in chapters Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 examined the mice with haplo-insufficiency of the CYFIP1 gene as a possible new model for mental illness. First, the animal’s validity as a model of mentalillness was tested using auditory-evoked potential, one of the most ubiquitous phenomena that appears with mental illness in people and animal models. Then, recognition memory and the neuronal activity in the perirhinal and the visual cortex was tested, to see if they demonstrate other symptoms relating to schizophrenia. In the second line of work, the CYFIP1 mice demonstrated an auditory-evoked potential profile more like that observed in fragile-X syndrome, rather than schizophrenia and did not present any changes in both recognition memory or the electrical activity in the visual and the perirhinal cortex. This work showed that the perirhinal cortex does not show any familiarity-related activity unlike the current assumption in the literature. It also showed that the CYFIP1 mice might be a possible model for autism and Fragile-X syndrome.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry