Science and Nature

Neural representations of location within the hippocampus of a meals-caching bird

Conserved spatial memory mechanisms

Meals-caching birds are memory consultants that can take into account thousands of hidden meals objects. The expend of electrophysiological recordings from freely behaving birds, Payne et al. analyzed neuronal process within the likely hippocampus homolog of two bird species, the tufted titmouse and the zebra finch. They selected these two species to compare, respectively, birds that enact and enact not show meals-caching behavior. Location cells and typical hippocampal firing patterns that resembled rodent neuronal process also can be detected within the intense memory consultants. When put next with titmice, on the opposite hand, spatial process became noticeably weaker and no more essential in zebra finches. These findings provide evidence that the neural processes underlying spatial memory are remarkably conserved across widely divergent hippocampal circuits separated by millions of years of evolution.

Science, abg2009, this enviornment p. 343


Spatial memory in vertebrates requires brain regions homologous to the mammalian hippocampus. Between vertebrate clades, on the opposite hand, these regions are anatomically determined and appear to accomplish varied spatial patterns of neural process. We requested whether hippocampal process is essentially varied even between a long way away vertebrates that piece a sturdy dependence on spatial memory. We studied tufted titmice, meals-caching birds able to remembering many concealed meals locations. We stumbled on mammalian-care for neural process within the titmouse hippocampus, alongside with appealing-wave ripples and anatomically organized just cells. In a non–meals-caching bird species, spatial firing became less informative and became exhibited by fewer neurons. These findings imply that hippocampal circuit mechanisms are similar between birds and mammals, but that the resulting patterns of process also can fluctuate quantitatively with species-particular ethological needs.

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