Articles by Tara K. Jacobson in JoVE
Other articles by Tara K. Jacobson on PubMed
Hippocampal and Striatal Dependent Navigation: Sex Differences Are Limited to Acquisition Hormones and Behavior. Aug, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19406124 Estrogen has been demonstrated to enhance the use of hippocampal-based place learning while reducing the use of striatal-based motor-response strategy (Korol, D.L., Malin, E.L., Borden, K.A., Busby, R.A., & Couper-Leo, J. (2004). Shifts in preferred learning strategy across the estrous cycle in female rats. Horm. Behav. 45, 330-338). Previous research has focused on task acquisition and the switch from a place to motor-response navigation with training. The current paradigm allowed an examination of the interplay between these two systems by having well-trained animals switch strategies "on demand." Female and male Sprague-Dawley rats were taught a motor-response task on a plus maze. The rats were then introduced to a place task and taught to switch, by cue, from the motor-response to place strategy. Finally, the rats were trained to continuously alternate between place and motor-responses strategies. The maze configuration allowed for an analysis of cooperative choices (both strategies result in the same goal arm), competitive choices (both strategies result in different goal arms), and single strategy choices (can only use the motor-response strategy). The results indicate that sex and estrogen-related effects on navigation strategy are limited to the initial stages of learning a task. The role of sex and estrogen is diminished once the task is well learned, and presumably, the relative involvement of the hippocampal and striatal systems is established.
Extensive Training and Hippocampus or Striatum Lesions: Effect on Place and Response Strategies Physiology & Behavior. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22005166 The hippocampus has been linked to spatial navigation and the striatum to response learning. The current study focuses on how these brain regions continue to interact when an animal is very familiar with the task and the environment and must continuously switch between navigation strategies. Rats were trained to solve a plus maze using a place or a response strategy on different trials within a testing session. A room cue (illumination) was used to indicate which strategy should be used on a given trial. After extensive training, animals underwent dorsal hippocampus, dorsal lateral striatum or sham lesions. As expected hippocampal lesions predominantly caused impairment on place but not response trials. Striatal lesions increased errors on both place and response trials. Competition between systems was assessed by determining error type. Pre-lesion and sham animals primarily made errors to arms associated with the wrong (alternative) strategy, this was not found after lesions. The data suggest a qualitative change in the relationship between hippocampal and striatal systems as a task is well learned. During acquisition the two systems work in parallel, competing with each other. After task acquisition, the two systems become more integrated and interdependent. The fact that with extensive training (as something becomes a "habit"), behaviors become dependent upon the dorsal lateral striatum has been previously shown. The current findings indicate that dorsal lateral striatum involvement occurs even when the behavior is spatial and continues to require hippocampal processing.
Hippocampal Theta, Gamma, and Theta-gamma Coupling: Effects of Aging, Environmental Change, and Cholinergic Activation Journal of Neurophysiology. Apr, 2013 | Pubmed ID: 23303862 Hippocampal theta and gamma oscillations coordinate the timing of multiple inputs to hippocampal neurons and have been linked to information processing and the dynamics of encoding and retrieval. One major influence on hippocampal rhythmicity is from cholinergic afferents. In both humans and rodents, aging is linked to impairments in hippocampus-dependent function along with degradation of cholinergic function. Cholinomimetics can reverse some age-related memory impairments and modulate oscillations in the hippocampus. Therefore, one would expect corresponding changes in these oscillations and possible rescue with the cholinomimetic physostigmine. Hippocampal activity was recorded while animals explored a familiar or a novel maze configuration. Reexposure to a familiar situation resulted in minimal aging effects or changes in theta or gamma oscillations. In contrast, exploration of a novel maze configuration increased theta power; this was greater in adult than old animals, although the deficit was reversed with physostigmine. In contrast to the theta results, the effects of novelty, age, and/or physostigmine on gamma were relatively weak. Unrelated to the behavioral situation were an age-related decrease in the degree of theta-gamma coupling and the fact that physostigmine lowered the frequency of theta in both adult and old animals. The results indicate that age-related changes in gamma and theta modulation of gamma, while reflecting aging changes in hippocampal circuitry, seem less related to aging changes in information processing. In contrast, the data support a role for theta and the cholinergic system in encoding and that hippocampal aging is related to impaired encoding of new information.
Dissociation Between Dorsal and Ventral Hippocampal Theta Oscillations During Decision-making The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Apr, 2013 | Pubmed ID: 23554502 Hippocampal theta oscillations are postulated to support mnemonic processes in humans and rodents. Theta oscillations facilitate encoding and spatial navigation, but to date, it has been difficult to dissociate the effects of volitional movement from the cognitive demands of a task. Therefore, we examined whether volitional movement or cognitive demands exerted a greater modulating factor over theta oscillations during decision-making. Given the anatomical, electrophysiological, and functional dissociations along the dorsal-ventral axis, theta oscillations were simultaneously recorded in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in rats trained to switch between place and motor-response strategies. Stark differences in theta characteristics were found between the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in frequency, power, and coherence. Theta power increased in the dorsal, but decreased in the ventral hippocampus, during the decision-making epoch. Interestingly, the relationship between running speed and theta power was uncoupled during the decision-making epoch, a phenomenon limited to the dorsal hippocampus. Theta frequency increased in both the dorsal and ventral hippocampus during the decision epoch, although this effect was greater in the dorsal hippocampus. Despite these differences, ventral hippocampal theta was responsive to the navigation task; theta frequency, power, and coherence were all affected by cognitive demands. Theta coherence increased within the dorsal hippocampus during the decision-making epoch on all three tasks. However, coherence selectively increased throughout the hippocampus (dorsal to ventral) on the task with new hippocampal learning. Interestingly, most results were consistent across tasks, regardless of hippocampal-dependent learning. These data indicate increased integration and cooperation throughout the hippocampus during information processing.