Spatial learning and memory at defined points of the estrous cycle: Effects on performance of a hippocampal-dependent task

Brian Berry, Robert McMahan, Michela Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Learning based on hippocampal-dependent spatial navigation in female rats was assessed at identified points in the estrous cycle corresponding to low (estrus) and high (proestrus) circulating estrogen. With background training in water-maze procedures, rats learned the location of an escape platform in the maze in a single session of 8 training trials. A strong spatial bias for the escape platform was also evident in a probe trial used to assess retention of learning 30 min after the training session. This entire protocol was completed in less than an hour. The performance of the estrus and proestrus rats was indistinguishable on all behavioral measures, irrespective of the stage of estrous cycle during the task. These results indicate that rapid learning and retention for spatial information over a relatively short interval may be preserved despite morphological alterations in hippocampal dendritic spine density in the normally cycling female rat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume111
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1997
Externally publishedYes

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Estrous Cycle
Proestrus
Estrus
Learning
Dendritic Spines
Estrogens
Spatial Memory
Spatial Learning
Water
Retention (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Spatial learning and memory at defined points of the estrous cycle : Effects on performance of a hippocampal-dependent task. / Berry, Brian; McMahan, Robert; Gallagher, Michela.

In: Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 111, No. 2, 04.1997, p. 267-274.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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