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Hippocampal Physiology, Altered leads to Cognitive Function, Decreased
Key Event Relationship Overview
AOPs Referencing Relationship
|AOP Name||Adjacency||Weight of Evidence||Quantitative Understanding||Point of Contact||Author Status||OECD Status|
|Inhibition of Thyroperoxidase and Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals||adjacent||High||Moderate||Kevin Crofton (send email)||Open for citation & comment||TFHA/WNT Endorsed|
|Sodium Iodide Symporter (NIS) Inhibition and Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals||adjacent||Moderate||Low||Mary Gilbert (send email)||Under Development: Contributions and Comments Welcome|
|Thyroid Receptor Antagonism and Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals||adjacent||High||Moderate||Kevin Crofton (send email)||Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite||Under Development|
Life Stage Applicability
|During brain development||High|
Key Event Relationship Description
It is a well-accepted assertion that hippocampal synaptic integrity and plasticity are essential for spatial information processing in animals and spatial and episodic memory in humans (Burgess, 2002; Martin et al., 2000; Sweatt, 2016). A large number of studies with a variety of techniques and approaches have linked hippocampal functional deficits to decreased spatial ability, context learning, and fear learning. Study of human disease states and conditions where hippocampal function is impaired (i.e., brain trauma, Alzheimer’s disease, temporal lobe epilepsy, Down’s Syndrome), and imaging studies of hippocampal activation during memory challenge, makes itirrefutable that the hippocampus is essential for specific types of cognition abilities. Decades of animal research has reinforced this assertion.
There are many forms of synaptic plasticity and numerous ways in which physiological function of neural circuits can be assessed. Similarly, there are many forms of learning and memory and multiple tasks and specifics associated with these tasks that vary from laboratory to laboratory. An emerging field of computational cognitive neuroscience lies at the intersection of computational neuroscience, machine learning and neural network theory. These computational and theoretical frameworks support the participation of the hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity in learning and memory in animals and humans (for review see: Ashby and Helie, 2012).
Evidence Supporting this KER
The weight of evidence for proper hippocampal function and episodic memory in humans and the animal analogue, spatial and fear-based context learning, is strong. Seminal studies over the past 60 years firmly established the cellular basis of behavior with synaptic plasticity (LTP and LTD). And recent work has provided details on the local hippocampal circuitry needed for memory formation and behavioral change (Sweatt, 2016). In humans, virtual reality experiments in large-scale spatial contexts demonstrate the convergence of spatial memory performance in normal patients with fMRI of the hippocampus clearly demonstrating the essentiality of hippocampal function to spatial learning (Burgess, 2002). This assertion is consistent with a wealth of animal data on hippocampal learning and memory. In rodent models, functional impairment of the hippocampus assessed using electrophysiological techniques is correlated with deficits in spatial memory typically assessed using mazes, and memory for context often assessed in fear-based learning paradigms (O’Keefe and Nadel, 1978; Clark et al., 2000; Squire, 2004; Eichenbaum, 2000; Panjo and Bramham, 2014).
The biological plausibility of the KER is rated as strong. It is well accepted that the normal hippocampal function is critical for the acquisition and memory of context and spatially mediated tasks in rodents and humans (Sweatt, 2016).
Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
There are no inconsistencies in this KER, but there are some uncertainties. It is a widely-held assertion that synaptic transmission and plasticity in the hippocampus underlie spatial learning (Martin et al., 2000; Gruart and Delgado-Garcia, 2007; Bramham, 2007). However, the causative relationship of which specific alterations in synaptic function are associated with specific cognitive deficits is difficult to ascertain given the many forms of learning and memory, and the complexity of synaptic interactions in even the simplest brain circuit.
Information does not exist to develop quantitative relationships between the KEs in this KER.
Known modulating factors
Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Domain of Applicability
The majority of data in support of this KER is from rodent models. The evolutionary conservation of the role of the hippocampus in spatial cognitive functions suggests, with some uncertainty, that this KER is also applicable to other mammalian species.
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