Dynamic and stable hippocampal representations of social identity and reward expectation support associative social memory in male mice
© Koki Iino/MIXA/Getty Images
Mice can distinguish between each other thanks to neurons in the brain region known as the dorsal hippocampus.
When socializing, it is crucial to recognize the person you’re interacting with and recall information gleaned in past encounters. Since mice form well-established social hierarchies, their brains must have a way to allow them to do this too.
Four scientists from the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea and a collaborator have found that the dorsal CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus plays a key role in recognizing individuals.
The team conducted a series of experiments in which they presented mice to each other and offered or withheld a water reward after the interaction. Using a microscopic imaging technique, they detected which neurons were activated during the interactions.
The finding could help to shed light on mental disorders in which brain functions associated with relating to others are impaired, the researchers say.
- Nature Communications 14, 2597 (2023). doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-38338-3
|Institute for Basic Science (IBS), South Korea
|Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea