Introduction Since the relationship between chewing and cognitive functions has not been fully elucidated, this study aimed to determine the impact of chewing behaviour on spatial learning and memory in albino male BALB/c mice. Methods Twenty mice aged 8 weeks were divided into 2 equal groups. The regular chewing group was fed with uncrushed grains (the same diet given to all 20 mice since they were weaned) and the limited chewing group was fed with crushed grains. At 16 weeks of age, the mice were evaluated over 5 days, including a 4-day acquisition phase prior to a probe test of spatial learning and memory in the Morris water maze on the fifth day. Results A comparison of the regular chewing group and the limited chewing group found no significant differences in either the acquisition phase or the probe test. However, there were significant differences in the acquisition phase for just the regular chewing group when comparing results from the first day to those from the other 3 days. Conclusions The results suggest that regular chewing affects spatial learning and memory since mice in the regular chewing group decreased their times to find the hidden platform during the acquisition phase.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Sociedad Española de Neurología
- BALB/c mice
- Morris water maze
- Spatial learning
- Spatial memory
- Stomatognathic system