Functional Mapping of Learning-Related Metabolic Activity with Quantitative Cytochrome Oxidase Histochemistry

  • Amy Poremba
  • Dirk Jones
  • F. Gonzalez-Lima


Utilizing quantitative histochemistry to view increases or decreases in the activity of the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase (C.O.) affords a new functional neuroimaging technique for examining baseline changes in activity which have taken place over a period of time, as opposed to evoked activity alone. Cytochrome oxidase is the pivotal mitochondrial oxidative enzyme for energy production in cells. The amount of this enzyme is tightly coupled to aerobic oxidative energy metabolism in cells. This chapter will describe how the recent advances in histochemical quantification of this enzymatic activity have been used to look at even relatively small changes resulting from learning experiences to map the functional circuitry of associative learning. All three studies described here demonstrate how acoustic stimuli can modify the activity of the auditory system and create distinct patterns of functional metabolic activity when the auditory stimulus acquires different behavioral roles through learning. The cytochrome oxidase mapping technique can provide functional images of how the metabolic capacity of intact neural systems change in response to external stimuli.


Conditioned Stimulus Unconditioned Stimulus Cytochrome Oxidase Auditory Cortex Auditory System 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Poremba
    • 1
  • Dirk Jones
    • 1
  • F. Gonzalez-Lima
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Institute for NeuroscienceUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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