A critical review of chronic stress effects on spatial learning and memory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

176 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this review is to evaluate the effects of chronic stress on hippocampal-dependent function, based primarily upon studies using young, adult male rodents and spatial navigation tasks. Despite this restriction, variability amongst the findings was evident and how or even whether chronic stress influenced spatial ability depended upon the type of task, the dependent variable measured and how the task was implemented, the type and duration of the stressors, housing conditions of the animals that include accessibility to food and cage mates, and duration from the end of the stress to the start of behavioral assessment. Nonetheless, patterns emerged as follows: For spatial memory, chronic stress impairs spatial reference memory and has transient effects on spatial working memory. For spatial learning, however, chronic stress effects appear to be task-specific: chronic stress impairs spatial learning on appetitively motivated tasks, such as the radial arm maze or holeboard, tasks that evoke relatively mild to low arousal components from fear. But under testing conditions that evoke moderate to strong arousal components from fear, such as during radial arm water maze testing, chronic stress appears to have minimal impairing effects or may even facilitate spatial learning. Chronic stress clearly impacts nearly every brain region and thus, how chronic stress alters hippocampal spatial ability likely depends upon the engagement of other brain structures during behavioral training and testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-755
Number of pages14
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Fingerprint

Arousal
Fear
Animal Housing
Brain
Short-Term Memory
Young Adult
Rodentia
Food
Water
Spatial Navigation
Spatial Memory
Spatial Learning

Keywords

  • Hippocampus
  • Learning
  • Reference memory
  • Spatial
  • Stress
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

@article{b9cc6cdbd8b04151845d84cb6fe47222,
title = "A critical review of chronic stress effects on spatial learning and memory",
abstract = "The purpose of this review is to evaluate the effects of chronic stress on hippocampal-dependent function, based primarily upon studies using young, adult male rodents and spatial navigation tasks. Despite this restriction, variability amongst the findings was evident and how or even whether chronic stress influenced spatial ability depended upon the type of task, the dependent variable measured and how the task was implemented, the type and duration of the stressors, housing conditions of the animals that include accessibility to food and cage mates, and duration from the end of the stress to the start of behavioral assessment. Nonetheless, patterns emerged as follows: For spatial memory, chronic stress impairs spatial reference memory and has transient effects on spatial working memory. For spatial learning, however, chronic stress effects appear to be task-specific: chronic stress impairs spatial learning on appetitively motivated tasks, such as the radial arm maze or holeboard, tasks that evoke relatively mild to low arousal components from fear. But under testing conditions that evoke moderate to strong arousal components from fear, such as during radial arm water maze testing, chronic stress appears to have minimal impairing effects or may even facilitate spatial learning. Chronic stress clearly impacts nearly every brain region and thus, how chronic stress alters hippocampal spatial ability likely depends upon the engagement of other brain structures during behavioral training and testing.",
keywords = "Hippocampus, Learning, Reference memory, Spatial, Stress, Working memory",
author = "Cheryl Conrad",
year = "2010",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1016/j.pnpbp.2009.11.003",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "34",
pages = "742--755",
journal = "Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry",
issn = "0278-5846",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A critical review of chronic stress effects on spatial learning and memory

AU - Conrad, Cheryl

PY - 2010/6

Y1 - 2010/6

N2 - The purpose of this review is to evaluate the effects of chronic stress on hippocampal-dependent function, based primarily upon studies using young, adult male rodents and spatial navigation tasks. Despite this restriction, variability amongst the findings was evident and how or even whether chronic stress influenced spatial ability depended upon the type of task, the dependent variable measured and how the task was implemented, the type and duration of the stressors, housing conditions of the animals that include accessibility to food and cage mates, and duration from the end of the stress to the start of behavioral assessment. Nonetheless, patterns emerged as follows: For spatial memory, chronic stress impairs spatial reference memory and has transient effects on spatial working memory. For spatial learning, however, chronic stress effects appear to be task-specific: chronic stress impairs spatial learning on appetitively motivated tasks, such as the radial arm maze or holeboard, tasks that evoke relatively mild to low arousal components from fear. But under testing conditions that evoke moderate to strong arousal components from fear, such as during radial arm water maze testing, chronic stress appears to have minimal impairing effects or may even facilitate spatial learning. Chronic stress clearly impacts nearly every brain region and thus, how chronic stress alters hippocampal spatial ability likely depends upon the engagement of other brain structures during behavioral training and testing.

AB - The purpose of this review is to evaluate the effects of chronic stress on hippocampal-dependent function, based primarily upon studies using young, adult male rodents and spatial navigation tasks. Despite this restriction, variability amongst the findings was evident and how or even whether chronic stress influenced spatial ability depended upon the type of task, the dependent variable measured and how the task was implemented, the type and duration of the stressors, housing conditions of the animals that include accessibility to food and cage mates, and duration from the end of the stress to the start of behavioral assessment. Nonetheless, patterns emerged as follows: For spatial memory, chronic stress impairs spatial reference memory and has transient effects on spatial working memory. For spatial learning, however, chronic stress effects appear to be task-specific: chronic stress impairs spatial learning on appetitively motivated tasks, such as the radial arm maze or holeboard, tasks that evoke relatively mild to low arousal components from fear. But under testing conditions that evoke moderate to strong arousal components from fear, such as during radial arm water maze testing, chronic stress appears to have minimal impairing effects or may even facilitate spatial learning. Chronic stress clearly impacts nearly every brain region and thus, how chronic stress alters hippocampal spatial ability likely depends upon the engagement of other brain structures during behavioral training and testing.

KW - Hippocampus

KW - Learning

KW - Reference memory

KW - Spatial

KW - Stress

KW - Working memory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77953718872&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77953718872&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2009.11.003

DO - 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2009.11.003

M3 - Article

VL - 34

SP - 742

EP - 755

JO - Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry

JF - Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry

SN - 0278-5846

IS - 5

ER -