The work of the group focuses on both basic and therapeutic aspects of the formation of new neurons in the adult brain. Special attention is given to the effect of the physical exercise and an enriched environment or stress. With this goal, they evaluate hippocampus-dependent learning and memory, anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviours, as well as its impairments during some neurodegenerative diseases.
What Problem Did They Face?
In their work "Involvement of specific adult hippocampal neurogenic subpopulations on behavior acquisition and persistence abilities", the group analyzed the relationship between the task acquisition scores and the persistence in the acquired behavior and whether a correlation exists between the composition and number of the different subpopulations of immature neurons in the adult murine hippocampus and those acquisition/persistence behavioral parameters.
They worked full day during more than 8 weeks analysing every correlation between the variables captured. To do that, they used classical statistical packages but very few relevant relationships were identified mainly due to the extremely high amount of manual work required.
Which Was The Contribution Of AutoDiscovery To This Work?
AutoDiscovery took less than 2 hours to find out not only all the correlations that the group had identified during their 8-weeks intensive work but also several key correlations that, with a further confirmatory phase, completed the original hypothesis.
The main AutoDiscovery features applied to this work were:
The automatic consolidation of the hippocampal neurogenic results with the learning (Morris Water Maze test) and anxiety (Plus Maze test) tasks information recorded in different Excel files.
The evaluation of relationships between ratios of variables. In fact, many of the key findings were based on them.
The automatic results sorting feature, which greatly helped to minimze type II error and focus the scarce resources of the group in the most relevant findings.
The exportation of the relationship table, which facilitated the task of building their own plots for the final paper.