1 Tahrcountry Musings: Establishment of 'knots' by Mice While Exploring a New Environment

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Establishment of 'knots' by Mice While Exploring a New Environment

Path breaking research by Anna Dvorkin and Ilan Golan of Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv, Israel, and Henry Szechtman of Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada have come up with fascinating insights in to the "Knots" established by mice and their significance.

"Knots" established by mice are preferred places visited sporadically and marked by the formation of twists and turns. Research suggests that the tortuous movements improve the interpretation of the visual scene, enhance the memory of the place and provide the mouse with multiple views that turn the established places into navigational landmarks.

Using advanced computational tools the researchers establish how a particular type knot is formed and then used by mice. It shows clearly how the animals map the environment, and what they try to accomplish. Until recently, rodents' exploration of an open field has been considered to be largely random.

Details of the research appear in the latest issue of PLoS Computational Biology.

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