There is a general interest in understanding of whether and how exposure to emotionally traumatizing events can alter memory function and anxiety behaviors. Here we have developed a novel laboratory-version of mild blast exposure comprised of high decibel bomb explosion sound coupled with strong air blast to mice. This model allows us to isolate the effects of emotionally fearful components from those of traumatic brain injury or bodily injury typical associated with bomb blasts. We demonstrate that this mild blast exposure is capable of impairing object recognition memory, increasing anxiety in elevated O-maze test, and resulting contextual generalization. Our in vivo neural ensemble recording reveal that such mild blast exposures produced diverse firing changes in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region processing emotional memory and inhibitory control. Moreover, we show that these real-time neural ensemble patterns underwent post-event reverberations, indicating rapid consolidation of those fearful experiences. Identification of blast-induced neural activity changes in the frontal brain may allow us to better understand how mild blast experiences result in abnormal changes in memory functions and excessive fear generalization related to post-traumatic stress disorder.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)