John O’Keefe being interviewed after his Nobel Prize win

John O’Keefe published his astounding paper (The hippocampus as a spatial map. Preliminary evidence from unit activity in the freely-moving rat) on the discovery of hippocampal place cells in 1971, using behavioural neurophysiological techniques that were difficult to establish and rare in nature. Place cells changed forever what we thought of the hippocampus and temporal lobe, and a vast… Read More

Selective disconnection of the hippocampal formation projections to the mammillary bodies produces only mild deficits on spatial memory tasks: implications for fornix function.

Selective disconnection of the hippocampal formation projections to the mammillary bodies produces only mild deficits on spatial memory tasks: implications for fornix function. Take-home message: the mammillary bodies can  support spatial memory without their dense subicular complex inputs, revealing the importance of the other afferents for sustaining mammillary body function. This new evidence for independent functions… Read More

Is there really a replication crisis in science? And is there really a problem with the reliability and validity of the published literature?

A tiny post here (30 words) linking to another blog on problems with the published scientific literature attracted lots of hits – and left me wondering about the vexed issue of replication and reproducibility (these are not the same things) in science, and what these things mean for the working scientist. I should clarify that there is a certainly a… Read More

Stability of subicular place fields across multiple light and dark transitions.

Stability of subicular place fields across multiple light and dark transitions. Take-home message: subicular place cells have larger and coarser place cells than CA1 cells; a plurality of subicular cells are stable across multiple light-dark-light transitions, however (not too dissimilar to CA1 cells).  [Download the paper.] Eur J Neurosci. 2010 Aug;32(4):648-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07308.x. Brotons-Mas JR,… Read More

Hippocampal dynamics predict interindividual cognitive differences in rats.

Hippocampal dynamics predict interindividual cognitive differences in rats. Take-home message: Individual memory in old rats was assessed using DNMS. We recorded hippocampal CA1 place cells as these rats explored a familiar environment; 27% of recorded pyramidal neurons showed substantial delayed onsets of place field activity. This age-related firing onset delay occurred under basal conditions; it was… Read More

Dissociation of dorsal hippocampal regional activation under the influence of stress [Front Behav Neurosci. 2011] – PubMed – NCBI

(Available for download as OA on Frontiers – just click through the link) via Dissociation of dorsal hippocampal regi… [Front Behav Neurosci. 2011] – PubMed – NCBI. Passecker J, Hok V, Della-Chiesa A, Chah E, O’Mara SM. Source Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Abstract Stress has deleterious effects on brain, body, and behavior… Read More