Selective Deficit (selective + deficit)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The role of the medial temporal lobe in autistic spectrum disorders

C. H. Salmond
Abstract The neural basis of autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) is poorly understood. Studies of mnemonic function in ASD suggest a profile of impaired episodic memory with relative preservation of semantic memory (at least in high-functioning individuals). Such a pattern is consistent with developmental hippocampal abnormality. However, imaging evidence for abnormality of the hippocampal formation in ASD is inconsistent. These inconsistencies led us to examine the memory profile of children with ASD and the relationship to structural abnormalities. A cohort of high-functioning individuals with ASD and matched controls completed a comprehensive neuropsychological memory battery and underwent magnetic resonance imaging for the purpose of voxel-based morphometric analyses. Correlations between cognitive/behavioural test scores and quantified results of brain scans were also carried out to further examine the role of the medial temporal lobe in ASD. A selective deficit in episodic memory with relative preservation of semantic memory was found. Voxel-based morphometry revealed bilateral abnormalities in several areas implicated in ASD including the hippocampal formation. A significant correlation was found between parental ratings reflecting autistic symptomatology and the measure of grey matter density in the junction area involving the amygdala, hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. The data reveal a pattern of impaired and relatively preserved mnemonic function that is consistent with a hippocampal abnormality of developmental origin. The structural imaging data highlight abnormalities in several brain regions previously implicated in ASD, including the medial temporal lobes. [source]

Genetic ablation of the mammillary bodies in the Foxb1 mutant mouse leads to selective deficit of spatial working memory

Konstantin Radyushkin
Abstract Mammillary bodies and the mammillothalamic tract are parts of a classic neural circuitry that has been implicated in severe memory disturbances accompanying Korsakoff's syndrome. However, the specific role of mammillary bodies in memory functions remains controversial, often being considered as just an extension of the hippocampal memory system. To study this issue we used mutant mice with a targeted mutation in the transcription factor gene Foxb1. These mice suffer perinatal degeneration of the medial and most of the lateral mammillary nuclei, as well as of the mammillothalamic bundle. Foxb1 mutant mice showed no deficits in such hippocampal-dependent tasks as contextual fear conditioning and social transmission of food preference. They were also not impaired in the spatial reference memory test in the radial arm maze. However, Foxb1 mutants showed deficits in the task for spatial navigation within the Barnes maze. Furthermore, they showed impairments in spatial working memory tasks such as the spontaneous alternation and the working memory test in the radial arm maze. Thus, our behavioural analysis of Foxb1 mutants suggests that the medial mammillary nuclei and mammillothalamic tract play a role in a specific subset of spatial tasks, which require combined use of both spatial and working memory functions. Therefore, the mammillary bodies and the mammillothalamic tract may form an important route through which the working memory circuitry receives spatial information from the hippocampus. [source]

Impaired Pavlovian fear extinction is a common phenotype across genetic lineages of the 129 inbred mouse strain

M. Camp
Fear extinction is impaired in psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia, which have a major genetic component. However, the genetic factors underlying individual variability in fear extinction remain to be determined. By comparing a panel of inbred mouse strains, we recently identified a strain, 129S1/SvImJ (129S1), that exhibits a profound and selective deficit in Pavlovian fear extinction, and associated abnormalities in functional activation of a key prefrontal-amygdala circuit, as compared with C57BL/6J. The first aim of the present study was to assess fear extinction across multiple 129 substrains representing the strain's four different genetic lineages (parental, steel, teratoma and contaminated). Results showed that 129P1/ReJ, 129P3/J, 129T2/SvEmsJ and 129X1/SvJ exhibited poor fear extinction, relative to C57BL/6J, while 129S1 showed evidence of fear incubation. On the basis of these results, the second aim was to further characterize the nature and specificity of the extinction phenotype in 129S1, as an exemplar of the 129 substrains. Results showed that the extinction deficit in 129S1 was neither the result of a failure to habituate to a sensitized fear response nor an artifact of a fear response to (unconditioned) tone per se. A stronger conditioning protocol (i.e. five × higher intensity shocks) produced an increase in fear expression in 129S1, relative to C57BL/6J, due to rapid rise in freezing during tone presentation. Taken together, these data show that impaired fear extinction is a phenotypic feature common across 129 substrains, and provide preliminary evidence that impaired fear extinction in 129S1 may reflect a pro-fear incubation-like process. [source]

The hippocampus plays a critical role at encoding discontiguous events for subsequent declarative memory expression in mice

HIPPOCAMPUS, Issue 4 2007
Frédérique Mingaud
Abstract The hypothesis that hippocampal activity at encoding is causally related to subsequent declarative memory expression is tested in the mouse, by using lidocaine inactivation of the hippocampus in combination with c-fos neuroimaging analysis. We employed a two-stage radial maze paradigm of spatial discrimination, which was previously shown to dissociate between declarative and nondeclarative expression of memory related to the same acquired material. In Stage 1 (encoding), mice learnt the constant location of food among a set of six arms (three baited, three unbaited) by being submitted repeatedly to discontiguous experiences with each arm separately ("go/no-go" discrimination). In Stage 2 (test-session), they are challenged with novel presentations of the arms, which are either combined into pairs of opposite valence ("two-choice" discrimination), or opened all six together ("six-choice" discrimination). Previous experiments have demonstrated that the "two-choice" situation is a critical test for declarative memory while "six-choice" discrimination may rely on procedural memory. We observed that (i) hippocampal activity measured by c-fos mRNA expression was increased by "go/no-go" learning, and this activation was blocked by pre-training local infusions of lidocaine; (ii) when performed just before each session of Stage 1, such inactivation spared the acquisition of "go/no-go" discrimination but produced, subsequently, a selective deficit in the "two-choice" test (not in the "six-choice" test). This study indicates that the hippocampus is "spontaneously" engaged in encoding processes necessary for long-term storage of discontiguous experiences under a form enabling flexible declarative memory expression. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]