Hippocampal lesions cause learning deficits in inbred mice in the Morris water maze and conditioned-fear task

Behav Neurosci. 1997 Feb;111(1):104-13. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.111.1.104.


This study examined the effect of hippocampal lesions on acquisition of the Morris water maze and conditioned-fear task in inbred mice. C57BL/6J, DBA/2J, and B6D2F1 hybrid mice were given hippocampal lesions or sham surgery and then tested. The lesioned C57BL/6J and B6D2F1 mice failed to learn the Morris task relative to sham-operated controls, and no DBA group learned the task. In the contextual component of conditioned fear, lesions decreased freezing in all strains. But the lesions only affected freezing to the conditioned stimulus in the DBA/2J and B6D2F1 strains. These data demonstrate that C57BL/6J and B6D2F1 mice use the hippocampus to solve the Morris water maze and conditioned-fear task, and the DBA mice use the hippocampus, to some degree, in the conditioned-fear task.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Escape Reaction / physiology*
  • Fear / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology*
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Problem Solving / physiology
  • Species Specificity