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Continual Trials Spontaneous Recognition Tasks in Mice: Reducing Animal Numbers and Improving Our Understanding of the Mechanisms Underlying Memory

Chan, Michele and Eacott, Madeline J and Sanderson, David J and Wang, Jianfei and Sun, Mu and Easton, Alexander (2018) 'Continual Trials Spontaneous Recognition Tasks in Mice: Reducing Animal Numbers and Improving Our Understanding of the Mechanisms Underlying Memory.' Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 12. ISSN 1662-5153

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Abstract

Spontaneous recognition tasks are widely used as a laboratory measure of memory in animals but give rise to high levels of behavioral noise leading to a lack of reliability. Previous work has shown that a modification of the procedure to allow continual trials testing (in which many trials are run concurrently in a single session) decreases behavioral noise and thus significantly reduces the numbers of rats required to retain statistical power. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that this improved method of testing extends to mice, increasing the overall power of the approach. Moreover, our results show that the new continual trials approach provides the additional benefits of heightened sensitivity and thus provides greater insight into the mechanisms at play. Standard (c57) and transgenic Alzheimer model (TASTPM) mice were tested both at 7 and 10 months of age in both object recognition (OR) and object-location (OL) spontaneous recognition tasks using the continual trials methodology. Both c57 and TASTPM mice showed age-dependent changes in performance in OR. While c57 mice also showed age-related changes in performance of OL, TASTPM mice were unable to perform OL at either age. Significantly, we demonstrate that differences in OL performance in c57s and TASTPM animals is a result of proactive interference rather than an absolute inability to recognize OL combinations. We argue that these continual trials approaches provide overall improved reliability and better interpretation of the memory ability of mice, as well as providing a significant reduction in overall animal use.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: recognition memory, proactive interference, mouse, spontaneous recognition memory, object recognition
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2018 12:59
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2018 12:59
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23004

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