In birds, like in mammals, the hippocampus is particularly sensitive to exposure to novel environments, a function that is based on visual input. Chicks’ eyes are placed laterally and their optic fibers project mainly to the contralateral brain hemispheres, with only little direct interhemispheric coupling. Thus, monocular occlusion has been frequently used in chicks to document functional specialization of the two hemispheres. However, we do not know whether monocular occlusion influences hippocampal activation. The aim of the present work was to fill this gap by directly testing this hypothesis. To induce hippocampal activation, chicks were exposed to a novel environment with their left or right eye occluded, or in conditions of binocular vision. Their hippocampal expression of c-Fos (neural activity marker) was compared to a baseline group that remained in a familiar environment. Interestingly, while the hippocampal activation in the two monocular groups was not different from the baseline, it was significantly higher in the binocular group exposed to the novel environment. This suggest that the representation of environmental novelty in the hippocampus of domestic chicks involves strong binocular integration.

The effect of monocular occlusion on hippocampal c-Fos expression in domestic chicks (Gallus gallus) / Morandi-Raikova, Anastasia; Mayer, Uwe. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 2020/10:(2020), pp. 720501-720513. [10.1038/s41598-020-64224-9]

The effect of monocular occlusion on hippocampal c-Fos expression in domestic chicks (Gallus gallus)

Morandi-Raikova Anastasia;Mayer Uwe
2020-01-01

Abstract

In birds, like in mammals, the hippocampus is particularly sensitive to exposure to novel environments, a function that is based on visual input. Chicks’ eyes are placed laterally and their optic fibers project mainly to the contralateral brain hemispheres, with only little direct interhemispheric coupling. Thus, monocular occlusion has been frequently used in chicks to document functional specialization of the two hemispheres. However, we do not know whether monocular occlusion influences hippocampal activation. The aim of the present work was to fill this gap by directly testing this hypothesis. To induce hippocampal activation, chicks were exposed to a novel environment with their left or right eye occluded, or in conditions of binocular vision. Their hippocampal expression of c-Fos (neural activity marker) was compared to a baseline group that remained in a familiar environment. Interestingly, while the hippocampal activation in the two monocular groups was not different from the baseline, it was significantly higher in the binocular group exposed to the novel environment. This suggest that the representation of environmental novelty in the hippocampus of domestic chicks involves strong binocular integration.
Morandi-Raikova, Anastasia; Mayer, Uwe
The effect of monocular occlusion on hippocampal c-Fos expression in domestic chicks (Gallus gallus) / Morandi-Raikova, Anastasia; Mayer, Uwe. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 2020/10:(2020), pp. 720501-720513. [10.1038/s41598-020-64224-9]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/261077
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