The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Environmental enrichment differentially modifies specific components of sensory-evoked activity in rat barrel cortex as revealed by simultaneous electrophysiological recordings and optical imaging in vivo

Devonshire, I. M.; Dommett, E. J.; Grandy, T. H.; Halliday, A. C. and Greenfield, S. A. (2010). Environmental enrichment differentially modifies specific components of sensory-evoked activity in rat barrel cortex as revealed by simultaneous electrophysiological recordings and optical imaging in vivo. Neuroscience, 170(2) pp. 662–669.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.07.029
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Environmental enrichment of laboratory animals leads to multi-faceted changes to physiology, health and disease prognosis. An important and under-appreciated factor in enhancing cognition through environmental manipulation may be improved basic sensory function. Previous studies have highlighted changes in cortical sensory map plasticity but have used techniques such as electrophysiology, which suffer from poor spatial resolution, or optical imaging of intrinsic signals, which suffers from low temporal resolution. The current study attempts to overcome these limitations by combining voltage-sensitive dye imaging with somatosensory-evoked potential (SEP) recordings: the specific aim was to investigate sensory function in barrel cortex using multi-frequency whisker stimulation under urethane anaesthesia. Three groups of rats were used that each experienced a different level of behavioural or environmental enrichment. We found that enrichment increased all SEP response components subsequent to the initial thalamocortical input, but only when evoked by single stimuli; the thalamocortical component remained unchanged across all animal groups. The optical signal exhibited no changes in amplitude or latency between groups, resembling the thalamocortical component of the SEP response. Permanent and extensive changes to housing conditions conferred no further enhancement to sensory function above that produced by the milder enrichment of regular handling and behavioural testing, a finding with implications for improvements in animal welfare through practical changes to animal husbandry.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2010 IBRO
ISSN: 0306-4522
Keywords: environmental enrichment; barrel cortex; somatosensory-evoked potentials; voltage-sensitive dye imaging; rodent; in vivo
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Biomedical Research Network (BRN)
Item ID: 22634
Depositing User: Ellie Dommett
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2010 10:57
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 13:42
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/22634
Share this page:

Altmetrics

Scopus Citations

Actions (login may be required)

View Item
Report issue / request change

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340   general-enquiries@open.ac.uk