Spatial learning with a minislab in the dorsal hippocampus

M B Moser, Edvard I Moser, E. Forrest, P.K. Andersen, R G Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have determined the volume and location of hippocampal tissue required for normal acquisition of a spatial memory task. Ibotenic acid was used to make bilateral symmetric lesions of 20-100% of hippocampal volume. Even a small transverse block (minislab) of the hippocampus (down to 26% of the total) could support spatial learning in a water maze, provided it was at the septal (dorsal) pole of the hippocampus. Lesions of the septal pole, leaving 60% of the hippocampi intact, caused a learning deficit, although normal electrophysiological responses, synaptic plasticity, and preserved acetylcholinesterase staining argue for adequate function of the remaining tissue. Thus, with an otherwise normal brain, hippocampal-dependent spatial learning only requires a minislab of dorsal hippocampal tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9697-701
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 1995


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Hippocampus
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Ibotenic Acid
  • Learning
  • Maze Learning
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Spatial Behavior
  • Swimming
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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