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Learning curve assessment of rule use provides evidence for spared implicit sequence learning in a mouse model of mental retardation

Bauchwitz, Dr. Robert (2009) Learning curve assessment of rule use provides evidence for spared implicit sequence learning in a mouse model of mental retardation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Humans with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) have a mental retardation of which a notable characteristic is a weakness in recalling sequences of information. A mouse model of the disorder exists which exhibits behavioral and neurologic changes, but cognitive testing has not revealed learning deficits seemingly comparable in magnitude to that seen in the human condition. A working memory task for olfactory sequences was employed to test learning set acquisition in mice, half of which had a disruption of the gene responsible for FXS in humans. The task protected against reward detection artifact and demonstrated stringency-dependent task acquisition. A comparable image-based sequence learning set task was used to test humans. The performances of human subjects who did and did not report consciously acquiring the task rules were used as positive and negative controls to assess the mouse learning curves. Learning curve plateau error fluctuation for individual mice was comparable to that of human subjects who never acquired an explicit rule to perform the task, but different from those of human subjects who could state a rule to solve the problem. Sliding window error plots and nonparametric statistical analysis discriminated between the consciously rule-based human performances and that of the mice and humans who did not explicitly obtain the rule. Based on comparison to the human results, wild-type and FX mouse learning curves with a continuingly variable terminal plateau error rate in sliding epochs were classified as “implicit”. Although a moderately large difference in performance of the olfactory task was observed among mouse strains, there was no significant effect of FX genotype. The wild-type performance of the FX mice in this sequence task suggests that implicit learning may be relatively spared in FXS.

Item Type:Preprint
Additional Information:Text modification to Cai et. al., 2007: Comparative learning curve analysis: evidence for spared implicit learning in Fragile X mice
Keywords:Learning curve, learning set, sequence learning, serial learning, mental retardation, Fragile X syndrome, mouse models, explicit cognition, implicit cognition
Subjects:Psychology > Comparative Psychology
ID Code:6755
Deposited By:Bauchwitz, Dr. Robert
Deposited On:31 Dec 2009 14:58
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

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