Fifth FIRST Lecture: Animal Models of Cognitive Deficits: Implications for Plasticity and Functional Recovery by Bindu M Kutty, Lecture Hall, 1530 hrs


Forum for Interdisciplinary Research and Studies (FIRST)

 Invites you to the Fifth FIRST Lecture on 


Animal Models of Cognitive Deficits:

Implications for Plasticity and Functional Recovery


Bindu M Kutty

Department of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru


Friday, January 27, 2017, 3:30 PM

Venue: Conference Hall-II, NIAS

Abstract: The adult brain is quite plastic and has the capacity to reorganize neural circuitries and even behavioural strategies as a result of experience. These phenomena have been demonstrated in both animal models and human subjects. Further studies have demonstrated the importance of interventions such as environmental enrichment paradigms, exercise, nutrition etc. in enhancing behavioural and cognitive functions. We have employed various such strategies to tap the properties of brain plasticity and cognitive reserves, using a rat model of cognitive impairment produced by selective lesioning of the ventral subiculum bilaterally. The subiculum is an important structure of hippocampal formation, involved in spatial cognition and motivation. Ventral subicular lesions have produced considerable deficits in spatial learning and memory functions. Degeneration of hippocampal formation, including the subiculum, has been implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease, which features progressive impairment of cognition. The importance of appropriate strategies in accentuating plasticity events and establishing functional recovery in ventral subicular-lesioned rats has now been widely established. Our studies, carried out over a decade, have stimulated us profoundly as well as challenged our understanding of the complexities of brain–behavior relationships. Although these studies provide significant insights into cognitive reserve, the onus is on us to explore such interventions in the management of cognitive deficits in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease.


Ehninger D and Kempermann G. 2006. Paradoxical effects of learning the Morris water maze on adult hippocampal neurogenesis in mice may be explained by a combination of stress and physical activity. Genes, Brain and Behavior 5: 29–39.

Kapgal V et al. 2016. Long term exposure to combination paradigm of environmental enrichment, physical exercise and diet reverses the spatial memory deficits and restores hippocampal neurogenesis in ventral subicular lesioned rats. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 130: 61–70.

Pang TYC and Hannan AJ. 2013. Enhancement of cognitive function in models of brain disease through environmental enrichment and physical activity.Neuropharmacology 64: 515–528.

About the Speaker: Bindu M Kutty, currently Professor and Head of Neurophysiology at NIMHANS holds a doctoral degree in neurophysiology and has significant research interests in the neurobiology of sleep and its association with neuropsychiatric disorders; neural correlates of cognition, consciousness and well-being; neurobiology of meditative practices; role of subiculum in spatial learning and memory functions; cognitive reserve capacities of the brain; and strategies of environmental stimulation and transplantation in establishing functional recovery of the brain. She is also a member of the Indian Board for Certification of Sleep Medicine, General Secretary of the Indian Society for Sleep Research), and former member of the Board of Studies of the University of Calicut. In 2008, Prof Kutty was honoured with the Prof Baldev Singh Oration Award by the Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India.

Tea / Coffee will be served at 3.00 PM


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This is to remind you that NIAS has decided to establish an inter-institution Forum for Interdisciplinary Research and Studies (FIRST), with two principal aims:

1. Invite eminent scholars from various institutes and universities in and around Bengaluru to discuss recent work (their own or of others) in various disciplines that have adopted interdisciplinary approaches. We propose that these meetings be held once a month, on the afternoon of the last Friday of each month, at NIAS

2. Build up a virtual library or an electronic archive of interdisciplinary research manuscripts and publications, where it would be possible to upload relevant papers as well as download them, of course, only for academic purposes. We envisage that this archive be housed on the NIAS website

Friday, January 27, 2017