Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Environmental enrichment is a model of increased structural brain plasticity. Previous histological observations have shown molecular and cellular changes in a few pre-determined areas of the rodent brain. However, little is known about the time course of enrichment-induced brain changes and how they distribute across the whole brain. Here we expose adult mice to three weeks of environmental enrichment using a novel re-configurable maze design. In-vivo MRI shows volumetric brain changes in brain areas related to spatial memory, navigation, and sensorimotor experience, such as the hippocampal formation and the sensorimotor cortex. Evidence from a second cohort of mice indicates that these plastic changes might occur as early as 24h after exposure. This suggests that novel experiences are powerful modulators of plasticity even in the adult brain. Understanding and harnessing the underlying molecular mechanisms could advance future treatments of neurological disease.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.01.027

Type

Journal article

Journal

Neuroimage

Publication Date

01/04/2015

Volume

109

Pages

190 - 198

Keywords

DBM, Environmental enrichment, In-vivo MRI, Maze, Mice, Aging, Animals, Brain, Housing, Animal, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Neuronal Plasticity