Imaging of hippocampus structure and activation in a spatial navigation & learning task

Oct 19, 2017
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Dr. med. Klaus Fabel, Dr. rer. nat. Alexander Garthe, Prof. Dr. med. Dipl. Mus. H.-Ch. Jabusch
DZNE & HfM (Institut für Musikermedizin)
TUD NIC Kolloquium
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Medizin, Psychologie
Substantial evidence has been assembled highlighting cerebral plasticity as a powerful modulator of healthy cognitive aging. Efficient information processing in the hippocampus serves a special role in spatial navigation and thus in everyday tasks. We investigate this by the Dresden Spatial Navigation Task (DSNT, Garthe et al. 2015), a laptop based version of the classical Morris water maze task adapted for humans. The primary aim of this application is to perform a pilot-study (10-12 healthy students, age 18-30y) to optimize MRT-parameters in order to investigate the activation of brain regions involved in navigation (including the hippocampus) while probands perform our task in fMRI. In addition the MRI-protocol should allow the investigation of grey and white matter volumes of the hippocampus. In the long run we are aiming to confirm structural and activation differences in the hippocampus between musicians and non-musicians since hippocampal function can be understood as a generator of relational memory allowing efficient navigation in visual as well as in auditory, musical landscapes (O’Keefe & Nadel, 1971, MacDonald, 2011, Teki, 2012) and intensive musical training leads to increased cellular & synaptic plasticity in the brain (Münte, 2002, Gaser & Schlaug, 2003, Hyde, 2009, Wan & Schlaug, 2010). Supported is this theory by data generated in amusic persons (perception deficit for pitch differentiation) that show significant deficits in spatial learning tasks (Douglas & Bilkey, 2007).

Last modified: Oct 10, 2017, 5:49:25 PM


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