Cognition, Behavior, and Memory
Author: Matias Eduardo Samper | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matias Eduardo Samper 1°, Mario Rafael Pagani 1°
1° Universidad de Buenos AiresConsejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Facultad de Medicina, Instituto de Fisiología y Biofísica Bernardo Houssay (IFIBIO)-Houssay, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The generalization of learning is a cognitive function that allows us to apply the knowledge acquired in one situation to similar situations. It is a fundamental phenomenon in responding to new stimuli, which have rarely occurred in the same way in the past. Although it is a well documented phenomenon, its molecular and cellular basis are not clear. Previous studies in our laboratory showed that the genetic manipulation of the phosphodiesterase 4, Dunce, controls the level of generalization in contextual memory and olfactory conditioning. These data suggested that PKA signaling might be involved in learning generalization. Although the role of PKA in learning and memory has been determined, its role in generalization is unclear.
In order to determine the role of PKA in generalization we suppress PKA activity by a PKAC1 RNAi in neurons in Drosophila and examine memory and generalization. To assess memory, we used the contextual learning paradigm, where memory is tested in three different contexts, the original context, a similar or a different one.
Preliminary results suggested that the suppression of PKA impaired memory retrieval induced by the original context, without affecting the memory retrieved by a similar context. These results suggest that PKA function is not necessary for the generalization process and other molecular mechanisms might be involved.