Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. David F. Sherry



Memory consolidation - the time-dependent stabilization of information- involves two processes: 1) synaptic consolidation and 2) systems consolidation. Synaptic consolidation uses a series of protein synthesis cascades that make lasting changes in the underlying neural architecture of a memory. Systems consolidation involves the reorganization of memory such that, with the passage of time, memory that is initially hippocampus-dependent can be retrieved and activated independent of the hippocampus. Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) store and relocate food using hippocampus-dependent spatial memory. In Chapter 2 inhibition of protein synthesis by anisomycin, either 0 and 2 h or 4 and 6 h after food caching impaired memory for cache sites 24 and 48 h later after caching. In Chapter 3, aspiration lesions disrupting connections between the hippocampus and the hyperpallium accessorium were made at 1, 14 and 28 days following learning. Aspirations performed at 1 day, but not at 14 or 28 days, impaired memory. These findings indicate that synaptic consolidation and systems consolidation both play a role in memory for spatial locations in food-storing birds.