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  • Furthermore we argued that an inability to encode or monitor


    Furthermore, we argued that an inability to encode or monitor the temporal sequence of events or episodes in order to discriminate between other similar or related events (encoding what-happened-when) could result in an increased susceptibility to proactive interference and, thus, in principle explain the pattern of impaired spatial working memory and spared spatial reference memory in GluR-A−/− mice. As previously mentioned, there is increasing evidence that the hippocampus may play a role in the processing of temporal information, with respect to non-spatial, as well as spatial, stimuli. For example, previous studies have shown that rats with hippocampal lesions are unable to encode the temporal sequence in which they 5-Ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine sale are exposed to a series of odours (Fortin et al., 2002; see also Kesner et al., 2002; Charles et al., 2004). Our recent demonstration that GluR-A−/− mice exhibit a DRL impairment (Reisel et al., 2005), suggested that GluR-A-dependent synaptic plasticity may contribute to a temporal aspect of hippocampal information processing. If the role of GluR-A-dependent synaptic plasticity is concerned with reducing the influence of proactive interference, perhaps by underlying the encoding of the temporal sequence of events, then spatial working memory performance in GluR-A−/− mice should improve if proactive interference from prior trials is radically reduced or eliminated. In a recent study we therefore assessed spatial working memory performance in GluR-A−/− mice under a range of interference conditions (Sanderson et al., 2007). In a first experiment, spatial working memory was assessed during non-matching to place testing in wild-type and GluR-A−/− mice, both during testing with daily, pseudo-trial-unique arm presentations on the radial maze, and then also when conducting each trial on a different three-arm maze, each in a novel testing room. There was, however, no evidence that the magnitude of the spatial working memory impairment was alleviated in any way when potential proactive interference was reduced. In further experiments, performance of experimentally naïve wild-type and GluR-A−/− mice was assessed during just a single trial of spontaneous alternation, thus completely eliminating any source of proactive interference. Under these conditions, the spatial non-matching to place, alternation task becomes a spatial novelty preference test. Performance on this test is dependent on the hippocampus (Fig. 8). During a single sample phase, the mice are allowed to explore the start arm and only one of the two goal arms. On the subsequent choice test, in which access to all three arms is now permitted, wild-type controls showed a preference for the novel arm over the familiar arms. Experimentally naïve GluR-A−/− mice, which had no prior experience of the maze or of that spatial environment, showed no preference for the novel or the familiar arms (Fig. 8). This result is important because Triassic Period shows that the deficit in the knockout animals is not simply the result of an inability to overcome the potentially deleterious effects of proactive interference, arising from previous trials. In summary, we have argued previously that the pattern of impaired spatial working memory combined with intact spatial reference memory performance might be explained by an increased sensitivity to proactive interference in the knockout animals. However, the results of the spatial novelty preference test suggest that the spatial working memory impairment in GluR-A−/− animals is not due to increased proactive interference, and that in these knockout mice there is a fundamental deficit in making the appropriate spatial response during these working memory tasks.
    Two separable forms of hippocampal-dependent, spatial information processing The spatial novelty preference test in experimentally naïve animals demonstrates that GluR-A−/− mice exhibit a one-trial spatial memory deficit that is independent of proactive interference. This result, of course, suggests the existence of two distinct, and totally independent, spatial information processing mechanisms that are differentially sensitive to GluR-A deletion: the first, a GluR-A-dependent mechanism that rapidly encodes or expresses information relating to a single spatial episode or experience; the other, a GluR-A-independent mechanism that encodes information about spatial locations that is relevant across many trials as typified by spatial reference memory acquisition.