Reversible neural inactivation reveals hippocampal participation in several memory processes.
Riedel G., Micheau J., Lam AG., Roloff EL., Martin SJ., Bridge H., de Hoz L., Poeschel B., McCulloch J., Morris RG.
Studies of patients and animals with brain lesions have implicated the hippocampal formation in spatial, declarative/relational and episodic types of memory. These and other types of memory consist of a series of interdependent but potentially dissociable memory processes-encoding, storage, consolidation and retrieval. To identify whether hippocampal activity contributes to these processes independently, we used a novel method of inactivating synaptic transmission using a water-soluble antagonist of AMPA/kainate glutamate receptors. Once calibrated using electrophysiological and two-deoxyglucose techniques in vivo, drug or vehicle was infused chronically or acutely into the dorsal hippocampus of rats at appropriate times during or after training in a water maze. Our findings indicate that hippocampal neural activity is necessary for both encoding and retrieval of spatial memory and for either trace consolidation or long-term storage.