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    Home > Active Ingredient News > Study of Nervous System > Neuron observational learning promotes long-range replay of hippocampal place cells pointing to future reward locations during wakefulness

    Neuron observational learning promotes long-range replay of hippocampal place cells pointing to future reward locations during wakefulness

    • Last Update: 2022-01-26
    • Source: Internet
    • Author: User
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    Observational learning is an important cognitive function
    .

    Many animals, including humans and rodents, learn new skills and acquire new information by observing the behavior of other individuals
    .

    While recent studies have begun to shed light on the neural processes associated with observational learning, the neural circuits that follow are not well understood, especially when observational activity is ongoing, and neural activity in the brain remains largely unknown
    .

    The hippocampus is a learning and memory center in the brain
    .

    Place cells, located in the hippocampus, are a class of cells that become active when an animal is in a specific location in space
    .

    When an animal moves through an environment, place cells are activated one by one
    .

    This way of continuous activation is considered as a cognitive map representing spatial trajectories
    .

    Interestingly, this orderly activation pattern can be reproduced in the resting state during sleep or wakefulness
    .

    When the local field potential (LFP) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus exhibits high-frequency oscillations (sharp-wave ripples), a group of CA1 cells is collectively replayed, and its activation sequence is consistent with the activation of place cells during animal movement.
    in the same or reverse order

    .

    Recent studies suggest that place cell replay during wakefulness may be the neural basis for recalling past experiences or planning future spatial trajectories
    .

    On December 28, 2021, the team of Daoyun Ji and Xiang Mou at Baylor College of Medicine published an article in Neuron, Observational learning promotes hippocampal remote awake replay toward future reward locations, reporting that observational learning promotes the long-range movement of hippocampal place cells toward future reward locations during wakefulness.
    replay

    .

    Given the role of awake replay of place cells in the hippocampus in spatial learning, the researchers set out to investigate whether awake replay is involved in observational learning of spatial trajectories
    .

    The authors devised a working memory task that introduced an observer
    .

    The task consisted of a pair of observation and demonstration rats, whose drinking water was restricted
    .

    Among them, the observer rat (Observer) first stayed in an observation box to observe the movement trajectory of a demonstration rat (Demonstrator) in the adjacent T-shaped maze
    .

    The trained demonstration rat starts from the bottom end of the T-shaped maze and freely chooses to move towards one side (left or right) of the maze after passing through the central arm.
    After moving to the end of the horizontal arm and touching the water outlet device fixed there , the demonstration rat will receive a certain amount of water as a reward

    .

    Within a time window (10 seconds) after the demonstration rat gets the reward, if the observation rat touches the water outlet device on the same side as the demonstration rat on the T-shaped maze in the observation box, the observation rat will also get a certain amount of water.
    as a reward

    .

    After the exercise of the demonstration rat, the observation rat was placed in the same T-shaped maze
    .

    If the observation rat chose the same movement direction as the previous demonstration rat and touched the water outlet device on the same side, it was rewarded, and vice versa
    .

    The authors recorded the activity of place cells in the CA1 region of the hippocampus of the observed rat in this task, trying to understand whether the activation sequence of place cells in the observed rat's own movement in the T-shaped maze was replayed in the observation box, and if so, the replayed sequence.
    Whether features are associated with the spatial decision-making of observed rats in the T-maze

    .

    In this experiment, the observation rats learned to observe the movement trajectories of the demonstration rats on the T-shaped maze, and after the demonstration rats touched the water outlet device on the maze, they quickly touched the water outlet device on the same side of the observation box to obtain a reward
    .

    At the same time as the reward was obtained, the sequence of place cell activation in the observation box was stably replayed in the observation box
    .

    Such remote replays can be ordered in the same order as the actual activation of place cells in the T-maze (forward replay) or the opposite (reverse replay), but both preferentially point to reward locations in the maze
    .

    An intriguing observation was that, although the observation rats never moved in the opposite direction toward the reward position on the side arm of the T-maze, when the reward was obtained in the observation box, the observation rats showed place cells in the hippocampus representing the side arms of the T-maze.
    A reverse replay occurred in the reverse order of activation when observing the actual movement of the rat

    .

    Further analysis showed that the way the place cell sequence was replayed within the viewing box strongly correlated with the future direction of movement of the observed mouse in the maze and thus could be used to predict its choice in the maze
    .

    In contrast, in the control group without the demonstrators, long-range replay of hippocampal place cells was significantly reduced, along with a loss of preference for reward locations and predictions of future choices on the T-maze in the observation mice
    .

    This result suggests that observations of the behavior of trained conspecifics can influence the content of cellular remote replays in the hippocampal CA1 region's spike ripples, and further serve to guide spatial decision-making in observational learning
    .

    Link to the original text: https://doi.
    org/10.
    1016/j.
    neuron.
    2021.
    12.
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    Reprinting is prohibited without permission.
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    .

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