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RATIONALE Experimental studies have investigated the effects of chronic donepezil treatment on the behavioral deficits elicited by reduced activity or the loss of cholinergic neurons that occurs in aging or in models of dementia. However, few studies have analyzed the effects of chronic donepezil treatment on the cognitive functions of intact animals. (More)
This study was aimed at evaluating spatial function in subjects with Williams syndrome by using the radial arm maze task and comparing their spatial abilities with those of mental age-matched control subjects. Two different paradigms were administered: the free-choice version for analyzing the aspects linked mainly to procedural and mnesic components, the(More)
To analyze how search strategies are adapted according to the geometric distribution of food sources, the authors submitted rats to a search task in which they had to explore 9 food trays in an open field and avoid visiting already-depleted trays. Trays were spatially arranged in 4 independent configurations: a cross, a 3 x 3 matrix, 3 clusters of 3 trays(More)
The construct of brain and cognitive reserves holds that cognitive enrichment fosters the development of neuroplasticity properties, which permit normal cognitive functioning even in the presence of brain pathology. Interpreting the experience-dependent increase of neuronal connectivity and efficiency in the light of the reserve theory provides an(More)
Cerebellar compensation is a reliable model of lesion-induced plasticity occurring through profound synaptic and neurochemical modifications in cortical and sub-cortical regions. As the recovery from cerebellar deficits progresses, the firstly enhanced glutamate striatal transmission is then normalized. The time course of cerebellar compensation and the(More)
To experimentally verify the reserve hypothesis, the influence of rearing conditions on the cognitive performances and on dendritic spines following basal forebrain lesions was analyzed. Adult rats reared in enriched or standard conditions were depleted of the cholinergic projection to the neocortex by 192 IgG-saporin injection into Ch4 region of basal(More)
BACKGROUND Environmental enrichment (EE) defined as "a combination of complex inanimate and social stimulation" influences brain function and anatomy by enhancing sensory, cognitive, motor, and social stimulation. The beneficial effects of EE in the presence of brain damage have been partially attributed to upregulation of neurotrophins, proteins involved(More)
The molecular mechanism of environmental enrichment (EE) on brain function and anatomy has been partially attributed to the up-regulation of proteins involved in neuronal survival and activity-dependent plasticity, such as the neurotrophins nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of(More)
PURPOSE Recent anatomical studies showed the presence of cerebellar and basal ganglia connections. It is thus conceivable that the cerebellum may influence the striatal synaptic transmission in general, and synaptic plasticity in particular. METHODS In the present neurophysiological investigation in brain slices, we studied striatal long-term depression(More)
The exposure to enriched environments allows the maintenance of normal cognitive functioning even in the presence of brain pathology. Up until now, clinical and experimental studies have investigated environmental effects mainly on the symptoms linked to the presence of neuro-degenerative diseases, and no study has yet analyzed whether prolonged exposure to(More)