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Journal Article

Citation

Matthews DB, Simson PE, Best PJ. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 1996; 20(2): 404-407.

Affiliation

Department of Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1996, John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

8730237

Abstract

This study describes a new mechanism by which ethanol alters brain function and may impair performance on tasks requiring spatial navigation. Recording electrophysiological activity from single neurons in the awake, freely behaving animal, the present study shows that ethanol impairs the ability of place cells in the hippocampus to process spatial information. The impairment by ethanol in spatial processing of place cells was remarkably similar to the impairment produced by lesions of afferents to the hippocampus, except that the effect of ethanol was reversible. Since lesions to hippocampal afferents that alter spatial processing of place cells concomitantly impair spatial navigation, the present results suggest that ethanol similarly impairs spatial navigation by altering spatial processing of place cells. The present results have implications for the observation that ethanol impairs performance on navigational tasks that require spatial processing, such as automobile driving.


Language: en

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