ETIENNE Stéphanie

Stéphanie ETIENNE

Study of cognitive processes underlying strategies used during spatial navigation task learning

décembre 2013 Directeur(s) de thèse : Thomas BORAUD Résumé de thèse

In spatial navigation task, we can use several strategies to reach a goal. We can build a mental representation (global) of the environment, use egocentric (body-based) information or use available cues (internal or external). Two structures known to have roles in spatial information are the hippocampus and the striatum. It is now generally held that allocentric (external reference frame) learning is related to the hippocampus. On the other hand, the striatum is believed to be involved in egocentric representation. There is a parallel processing between those two system which sharing both competitive and cooperative interactions. The hippocampus is less damaged in the early stages of Parkinson disease, this aspect allows the possibility to develop rehabilitation protocols based on the use of allocentered learning when the egocentered one is biased. We have first to better understand how these two systems functionally operate in the normal brain. Here we present a task which permits the study of the spatial learning processes in a maze. Our global aim is to differentiate the respective functions of the hippocampus and basal ganglia in the spatial learning modalities (allocentered or egocentered) and define their kinetics and interactions. The resultant knowledge will may serve to develop cognitive rehabilitation tasks for people with cognitive disorders can be compensated by strategic adaptation.

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