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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Learning spatial orientation tasks in the radial-maze and structural variation in the hippocampus in inbred mice

Wim E Crusio1* and Herbert Schwegler2

Author Affiliations

1 Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 303 Belmont Street, Worcester, MA 01604, USA

2 Institut für Anatomie, Universität Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany

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Behavioral and Brain Functions 2005, 1:3  doi:10.1186/1744-9081-1-3

Published: 22 April 2005


In the present paper we review a series of experiments showing that heritable variations in the size of the hippocampal intra- and infrapyramidal mossy fiber (IIPMF) terminal fields correlate with performance in spatial, but not non-spatial radial-maze tasks. Experimental manipulation of the size of this projection by means of early postnatal hyperthyroidism produces the effects predicted from the correlations obtained with inbred mouse strains. Although the physiological mechanisms behind these correlations are unknown as yet, several lines of evidence indicate that these correlations are causal.