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Open AccessArticle

Spatial Impairment and Memory in Genetic Disorders: Insights from Mouse Models

1
Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, Rovereto 38068, Italy
2
Neuroscience and Brain Technologies Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova 16163, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elizabeth Race
Brain Sci. 2017, 7(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci7020017
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Mechanisms of Memory in the Brain)
Research across the cognitive and brain sciences has begun to elucidate some of the processes that guide navigation and spatial memory. Boundary geometry and featural landmarks are two distinct classes of environmental cues that have dissociable neural correlates in spatial representation and follow different patterns of learning. Consequently, spatial navigation depends both on the type of cue available and on the type of learning provided. We investigated this interaction between spatial representation and memory by administering two different tasks (working memory, reference memory) using two different environmental cues (rectangular geometry, striped landmark) in mouse models of human genetic disorders: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWScrm+/p− mice, n = 12) and Beta-catenin mutation (Thr653Lys-substituted mice, n = 12). This exploratory study provides suggestive evidence that these models exhibit different abilities and impairments in navigating by boundary geometry and featural landmarks, depending on the type of memory task administered. We discuss these data in light of the specific deficits in cognitive and brain function in these human syndromes and their animal model counterparts. View Full-Text
Keywords: navigation; spatial memory; boundary geometry; feature; Prader-Willi; Beta-catenin gene navigation; spatial memory; boundary geometry; feature; Prader-Willi; Beta-catenin gene
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, S.A.; Tucci, V.; Vallortigara, G. Spatial Impairment and Memory in Genetic Disorders: Insights from Mouse Models. Brain Sci. 2017, 7, 17.

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