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Human analogues of rodent spatial pattern association, separation, and completion memory tasks

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posted on 08.06.2021, 12:18 by Meera Paleja
Spatial pattern association (SPA), separation (SPS), and completion (SPC) have been shown to be dependent on distinct subfields of the hippocampus in rodents, but these processes have not been assessed using analogous paradigms in humans. In this thesis I developed three computerized tasks analogous to well-established rodent tasks used to assess these processes. Participants showed improved performance across trials in the SPA task, indicating increasing familiarity with the environment. Participants showed performance differences that were dependent on the amount of demand on the subprocesses used in SPS and SPC, specifically, poorer performance with decreasing separation distance between target and foil in the SPS task, and poorer performance with decreasing number of wall cues in the SPC task. These results support sensitivity of the tasks to these subprocesses in humans. These tasks set the stage for valuable future directions including the use of these tasks with imaging and clinical populations.






Granting Institution

Ryerson University

Thesis Advisor

Todd Girard