HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Mice brains shrink during winter, impairing some learning and memory

COLUMBUS , Ohio - The brains of one species of mouse actually shrink during the winter, causing the mice to have more difficulty with some types of learning, a new study found.

The results showed that, during the short days of winter, white-footed mice had impaired spatial memory the mental map that helps them remember important places in their environment.

This is one of the first studies to show seasonal changes in the structure and the functioning of brains of mammals, said Randy Nelson, co-author of the study and professor of psychology and neuroscience at Ohio State University .

The changes in the brain may help the mice conserve energy to survive during the cold winter season when food is scarce and conditions are harsh.

"The brain uses a lot of energy relative to its weight," Nelson said. "Like many mammals, mice need to reduce their energy costs during winter, and the brain is a good place to do that."

And while there are obviously many differences between mice and humans, studies like this may one day help researchers gain insight into seasonal brain dysfunctions in humans such as seasonal affective disorder, Nelson said.

Nelson conducted the study with Leah Pyter, a graduate student in neuroscience at Ohio State , and Brenda Reader, an undergraduate psychology major at Ohio State . The findings were published in the May 4 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

In one set of experiments, the researchers used 20 adult male white-footed mice. Using artificial light, some mice were kept in short days such as they would face in winter with eight hours of light per day for 13 weeks before the beginning of the study. Other mice were kept in long days, simulating summer, with 16 hours of daylight for 13 weeks.

Their spatial learning and memory were tested using a water maze test in which the mice had to swim to find an escape platform hidden just below the surface of opaque water. They were
'"/>

Contact: Randy Nelson
Rnelson@osu.edu
614-538-9526
Ohio State University
12-May-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Virtual mouse brains now available online
2. Modern brains have an ancient core
3. Different approach needed to protect brains of premature infants
4. 2 brains -- 1 thought
5. Unraveling where chimp and human brains diverge
6. Scientists identify 36 genes, 100 neuropeptides in honey bee brains
7. Carnegie Mellon uses new imaging technique to discover differences in brains of people with autism
8. Oxygen deprived brains repaired and saved
9. Velvet worm brains reveal secret sisterhood with spiders
10. Bird brains shrink from exposure to contaminants
11. Carnegie Mellon researchers discover key deficiencies in brains of people with autism

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/13/2019)... ... February 13, 2019 , ... MMJ International Holdings, the ... through patient clinical trials and research, announced that it is seeking fast track ... to help expedite the review and approval of drugs in development that treat ...
(Date:2/11/2019)... ... February 11, 2019 , ... Allotrope Foundation announces ... phased release of the Allotrope™ Framework for standardizing scientific data and its context. ... Allotrope™ Data Format (ADF) and application programming interfaces (APIs), and the Allotrope Foundation© ...
(Date:2/2/2019)... ... 31, 2019 , ... Through its Microbiome Grant Initiative ... study design, planning, sample collection, and analysis to researchers at Stanford University led ... Sara Vaughn, MD, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellow, to study the role of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/30/2019)... ... January 29, 2019 , ... ... is frustrated over something like a tricky math problem on an online tutoring ... by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) computer science assistant professor Erin Solovey ...
(Date:1/24/2019)... ... January 22, 2019 , ... Controlled Contamination Services is pleased to announce three ... of these valuable new team members will support its growing operation across the US ... CCS scales its business. This addition will enable CCS to widen its reach and ...
(Date:1/20/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... January 16, 2019 , ... On January ... an invited news article by Asymmetrex director James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. ... cell therapy resources like the PGCB and CellTrials.org. Now in its 21st year ...
(Date:1/15/2019)... ... January 15, 2019 , ... Personalized treatment plans may extend life expectancy ... to a new study published in the journal Radiology. , Kidney, or renal, ... nephrectomy, a surgical procedure in which the tumor and part of the kidney are ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: