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Aging and KIBRA/WWC1 Genotype Affect Spatial Memory Processes in a Virtual Navigation Task

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Schjeide,  B.-M.
Neuropsychiatric Genetics (Lars Bertram), Dept. of Vertebrate Genomics (Head: Hans Lehrach), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

Schröder,  J.
Neuropsychiatric Genetics (Lars Bertram), Dept. of Vertebrate Genomics (Head: Hans Lehrach), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bertram,  L.
Neuropsychiatric Genetics (Lars Bertram), Dept. of Vertebrate Genomics (Head: Hans Lehrach), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schuck, N. W., Doeller, C. F., Schjeide, B.-M., Schröder, J., Frensch, P. A., Bertram, L., et al. (2013). Aging and KIBRA/WWC1 Genotype Affect Spatial Memory Processes in a Virtual Navigation Task. Hippocampus, 23(10), 919-930. doi:Doi 10.1002/Hipo.22148.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0018-F956-E
Abstract
Spatial navigation relies on multiple mnemonic mechanisms and previous work in younger adults has described two separate types of spatial memory. One type uses directional as well as boundary-related information for spatial memory and mainly implicates the hippocampal formation. The other type has been linked to directional and landmark-related information and primarily involves the striatum. Using a virtual reality navigation paradigm, we studied the impacts of aging and a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP rs17070145) of the KIBRA gene (official name: WWC1) on these memory forms. Our data showed that older adult's spatial learning was preferentially related to processing of landmark information, whereas processing of boundary information played a more prominent role in younger adults. Moreover, among older adults T-allele carriers of the examined KIBRA polymorphism showed better spatial learning compared to C homozygotes. Together these findings provide the first evidence for an effect of the KIBRA rs17070145 polymorphism on spatial memory in humans and age differences in the reliance on landmark and boundary-related spatial information. (c) 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.