PubMed 22647473

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir6.2

Title: [Neurobiology of imprinting].

Authors: Hiroko Ohki-Hamazaki

Journal, date & volume: Brain Nerve, 2012 Jun , 64, 657-64

PubMed link:

Imprinting is an example of learning and memory acquisition in infancy. In the case of precocial birds, such as geese, ducks, and chickens, the baby birds learn the characteristics of the first moving object that they see within a critical period, and they imprint on it and follow it around. We analyzed the neural basis of this behavior in order to understand the neural mechanism of learning and memory in infancy. Information pertaining to a visual imprinting stimulus is recognized and processed in the visual Wulst, a region that corresponds to the mammalian visual cortex. It is then transmitted to the posterior region of the telencephalon, followed by the core region of the hyperpallium densocellulare (HDCo), periventricular region of the hyperpallium densocellulare (HDPe), and finally, the intermediate medial mesopallium (IMM), a region similar to the mammalian association cortex. Memory is stored in the IMM. After imprint training, plastic changes are observed in the visual Wulst as well as in the neurons of this circuit. HDCo cells, located at the center of this circuit, express N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors containing the NMDA receptor (NR) 2B subunit; the expression of this receptor increased after the imprint training. Inhibition of this receptor in the cells of the HDCo region leads to failure of imprinting and inactivation of this circuit. Thus, NMDA receptors bearing the NR2B subunit play a critical role in plastic changes in this circuit and in induction of imprinting.