INFORMATION

Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

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  • Director: José Muñiz
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Intracranial Self-Stimulation and Memory in Rats: A Sistematic Review

Ignacio Morgado-Bernal1 and Pilar Segura-Torres1

1 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Background: Intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) is a technique by which rats press a lever to stimulate their brains through an electrode chronically implanted in brain reward areas. Currently only two laboratories in the world, one in India and one in Spain, are intensively studying the effect of this kind of deep brain stimulation on learning and memory. This paper will present the main findings. Methods: Different groups of young and old healthy and brain-damaged rats with electrodes implanted in the medial forebrain bundle received a treatment of ICSS after being trained in several paradigms of implicit and explicit learning. Memory was tested over short and long-term periods. Structural and molecular post-mortem analyses of their brains were examined in relation to memory results. Results: ICSS enhances implicit and explicit memory, especially in animals showing poor performance in the learning tasks, such as brain-damaged subjects.  At the structural and molecular level, ICSS enhances size and dendritic arborization and promotes neurogenesis in specific hippocampal areas. ICSS also regulates the expression of genes related to learning and memory. Conclusions: Through activating reward and neural plasticity mechanisms, ICSS in the medial forebrain bundle is a promising technique for memory-enhancing treatments.

Autoestimulación Eléctrica Intracraneal y Memoria en Ratas: una Revisión Sistemática. Antecedentes: La autoestimulación eléctrica intracraneal (AEIC) es un tipo de estimulación cerebral profunda autoadministrada a través de un electrodo implantado de forma crónica en áreas cerebrales de la recompensa. Actualmente, dos laboratorios en el mundo, uno en India y otro en España, están estudiando intensivamente el efecto de este tipo de estimulación cerebral reforzante sobre el aprendizaje y la memoria. Aquí se presentan los principales hallazgos. Métodos: Diferentes grupos de ratas sanas y con daño cerebral, jóvenes y viejas, con electrodos implantados en el haz prosencefálico medial recibieron un tratamiento de AEIC después de ser entrenados en diferentes paradigmas de aprendizaje. La memoria se evaluó a corto y largo plazo. Resultados: La AEIC mejora la memoria implícita y explícita, especialmente en animales con un bajo rendimiento o con daño cerebral. A nivel estructural y molecular, la AEIC estimula del desarrollo de la arborización dendrítica, promueve la neurogénesis en el hipocampo y regula la expresión de genes relacionados con plasticidad, aprendizaje y memoria. Conclusiones: La AEIC en el haz prosencefálico medial, al activar mecanismos de recompensa y de plasticidad neural, constituye un tratamiento prometedor para la mejora de la memoria.

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