Dietary Supplementation of Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), and Spatial Memory in Wild-Type Mice

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2018;20(5):485-494. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2018026241.


Hericium erinaceus is an edible and medicinal mushroom with potential neuroprotective effects. The study of H. erinaceus has attracted considerable attention during the past 10 years, particularly with regard to its potential utility in the treatment of motor dysfunction, Alzheimer disease, and other forms of dementia. We previously determined that oral supplementation with H. erinaceus results in significant improvements in novelty-seeking behavior and novel object recognition in mice. In this study, H. erinaceus was added to the diets of wild-type mice for 2 months, and effects on spatial memory were evaluated by means of a Y maze and an object location task. We found that H. erinaceus increased general locomotor activity but had no effect on spatial memory. Thus, oral supplementation with H. erinaceus yields specific and selective improvements in recognition memory without altering spatial working memory, which supports the hypothesis that recognition memory can be modeled as a dual process. In this model, the perirhinal cortex supports the recognition of individual items as part of a circuit involved in familiarity with an encountered stimulus, whereas the hippocampus supports recollected associations and relationships between stimuli.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fruiting Bodies, Fungal / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Recognition, Psychology / drug effects
  • Spatial Memory / drug effects*


  • Neuroprotective Agents