|15:45-15:50: Symposium in Lecture Theatre, A01||Investigating tactile discrimination learning in mice|
[due to unforseen circumstances, the speaker could not make it, but here is the abstract]
Mice were trained to locate a food reward buried in one sawdust filled bowl that was differentiated from the second bowl by its outer surface texture. We found that mice learned the task within one day and retained the memory of the rewarded texture the following day. Whisker trimming reduced the animal’s ability to perform the texture task to chance levels, but did not affect an odour based discrimination. Similarly, if the barrel cortex of PV-cre mice expressed virally introduced floxed DREADDs activated by CNO, mice were able to learn the odour task but not the texture task. Mice injected with CNO but lacking DREADDs were not impaired on the texture task. As a proxy for activity, we measured cfos expression in the barrel cortex and found that it was elevated in PV cells and decreased in excitatory cells. Future experiments will allow us to observe structural plasticity during this period of rapid learning.