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Section of Neuroelectronic SystemsDepartment of Neurosurgery

Effect of High Frequency Stimulation on Learning and Memory

Project 7
Cover photo Behavioural Brain Research

Cover photo: Kirch et al. Behav Brain Res 2012

Learning in animals is highly dependent on the complex relationship between the hippocampal- and striatal-based memory systems. Under normal circumstances both systems are used to acquire and recall information and the two systems can interact. Furthermore, the pathological absence or damage to one memory system can be compensated by an increase of the influence of the other system on behavior.

Electrical high frequency stimulation (HFS) is currently used to treat various neurological and psychiatric diseases. The results of a recent study suggest that HFS of the dorsal striatum does not alter learning behavior in rats but influences the strategy by which the rats solve the given task. Additionally, GABA levels were significantly increased in the dorsal striatum of these HFS stimulated rats.

This project will examine how HFS applied in different regions of the striatum / hippocampus affects learning acquisition, consolidation and retrieval. Various cognitive competition paradigms, including the Double-H water maze (shown below) and the Morris water maze, will be used to assess procedural / declarative-like memory in HFS stimulated rats. In addition, virtual copies of the mazes will also be used to complement the results obtained from the physical mazes.

Section of Neuroelectronic Systems

Prof. Dr. rer.nat. Ulrich G. Hofmann
Peter-Osypka-Professor for Neuroelectronic Systems

University Medical Center Freiburg
Department of Neurosurgery
Engesserstr. #4, 5th floor
D-79108 Freiburg
Phone: +49(0)761 270 50076
E-Mail: ulrich.hofmann@uniklinik-freiburg.de