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Heading in the right direction

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Date Issued:
2009
Summary:
The mechanisms that rodents employ to navigate through their environment have been greatly studied. Cognitive mapping theory suggests that animals use distal cues in the environment to navigate to a goal location (place navigation). However, others have found that animals navigate in a particular direction to find a goal (directional navigation). The rodent brain contains head direction cells (HD cells) that discharge according to the head direction of the animal. Navigation by heading direction is disrupted by lesions of the anterodorsal thalamic nuclei (ADN), many of which are HD cells. Aim 1 tested whether male C57BL/6J mice exhibit direction or place navigation in the Morris water maze. Aim 2 tested the effects of temporary inactivation of the ADN on directional navigation. Together, these data indicate that C57BL/6J mice also exhibit preference for directional navigation and suggest that the ADN may be crucial for this form of spatial navigation.
Title: Heading in the right direction: the behavior and brain mechanisms of directional navigation.
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Name(s): Williams, Sidney Beth.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Department of Psychology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: ix, 71 p. : ill. (some col.).
Language(s): English
Summary: The mechanisms that rodents employ to navigate through their environment have been greatly studied. Cognitive mapping theory suggests that animals use distal cues in the environment to navigate to a goal location (place navigation). However, others have found that animals navigate in a particular direction to find a goal (directional navigation). The rodent brain contains head direction cells (HD cells) that discharge according to the head direction of the animal. Navigation by heading direction is disrupted by lesions of the anterodorsal thalamic nuclei (ADN), many of which are HD cells. Aim 1 tested whether male C57BL/6J mice exhibit direction or place navigation in the Morris water maze. Aim 2 tested the effects of temporary inactivation of the ADN on directional navigation. Together, these data indicate that C57BL/6J mice also exhibit preference for directional navigation and suggest that the ADN may be crucial for this form of spatial navigation.
Identifier: 319812851 (oclc), 186774 (digitool), FADT186774 (IID), fau:2921 (fedora)
Note(s): by Sidney Beth Williams.
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2009.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2009. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Mice as laboratory animals
Animal navigation
Spatial behavior in animals
Cognition in animals
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/186774
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU