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Novel nose poke-based temporal discrimination tasks with concurrent in vivo calcium imaging in freely moving mice


Authors: William D. Marks, Hisayuki Osanai, Jun Yamamoto, Sachie K. Ogawa, Takashi Kitamura
Publication: Molecular Brain
Date: November 6, 2019
Link to article: https://molecularbrain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13041-019-0515-7?__h…


The hippocampus has been known to process temporal information as part of memory formation. While time cells have been observed in the hippocampus and medial entorhinal cortex, a number of the behavioral tasks used present potential confounds that may cause some contamination of time cell observations due to animal movement. Here, we report the development of a novel nose poke-based temporal discrimination task designed to be used with in vivo calcium imaging for the analysis of hippocampal time cells in freely moving mice. First, we developed a ten second held nose poke paradigm for use in mice to deliver a purer time metric for the analysis of time cell activity in hippocampus CA1. Second, we developed a temporal discrimination task that involves the association of held nose poke durations of differing lengths with differential spatial cues presented in arms on a linear I-maze. Four of five mice achieved successful temporal discrimination within three weeks. Calcium imaging has been successfully performed in each of these tasks, with time cell activity being detected in the 10s nose poke task, and calcium waves being observed in discrete components of the temporal discrimination task. The newly developed behavior tasks in mice serve as novel tools to accelerate the study of time cell activity and examine the integration of time and space in episodic memory formation.

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