A larger hippocampus is associated with longer-lasting spatial memory

R Biegler, A McGregor, JR Krebs, Susan Denise Healy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Volumetric studies in a range of animals (London taxi-drivers, polygynous male voles, nest-parasitic female cowbirds, and a number of food-storing birds) have shown that the size of the hippocampus, a brain region essential to learning and memory, is correlated with tasks involving an extra demand for spatial]earning and memory. In this paper, we report the quantitative advantage that food storers gain from such an enlargement. Coal tits (Paros ater) a food-storing species, performed better than great tits (Paros major), a nonstoring species, on a task that assessed memory persistence but not on a task that assessed memory resolution or on one that tested memory capacity. These results show that the advantage to the food-storing species associated with an enlarged hippocampus is one of memory persistence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6941-6944
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume98
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2001

Keywords

  • FOOD-STORING BIRDS
  • PIGEONS
  • VOLUME
  • PERFORMANCE
  • BEHAVIOR
  • PATTERNS
  • CORVIDS
  • SIZE

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