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Going Places: Rat Brain "GPS" Maps Routes to Rewards, Johns Hopkins University Study


4/18/2013 7:39:01 AM

While studying rats' ability to navigate familiar territory, Johns Hopkins scientists found that one particular brain structure uses remembered spatial information to imagine routes the rats then follow. Their discovery has implications for understanding why damage to that structure, called the hippocampus, disrupts specific types of memory and learning in people with Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline. And because these mental trajectories guide the rats' behavior, the research model the scientists developed may be useful in future studies on higher-level tasks, such as decision-making.

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