Browsing by Subject "learning"

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  • Korpela, Jenni (Helsingfors universitet, 2009)
    Workshops can be seen as a one kind of occupational model in the field of the social employing. The objective of social employing is to support the employment of those persons who are in a weak labour market position and to maintain their ability to function. The objectives of the workshops, which are offering work experience and learning of life management, maintain the same goal as social employment. Workshop services in Finland are relatively little scientifically studied in spite of their fairly long history. The workshop as a concept is still quite sparsely defined and also an unknown occupational model to the large part of people. The starting point for this study was to clarify what the workshops are like, what the services are like and how learning can be seen from the point of view of the workshop services. The objective of this study was to analyse how the apprentices experience the workshop services as well as learning in the workshops and thus describe how the workshops are shaped at the youth workshops. According to earlier studies the apprentices have experienced the workshops as useful periods in their lives and also they believe that other people in society appreciate the experience that apprentices have been received from the workshops. This study can be described as a qualitative study. Its methodological foundation is in phenomenology and especially in existential phenomenology. The research material consisted of seven individual interviews and two group interviews. In the group interviews five apprentices were those who had also participated in the individual interviews and one apprentice who did not participate. The interviewees' ages were between 17-22 years. The interviews were carried out as semi-structured interviews. The method which was utilised in the analysis of the research material is developed by Juha Perttula (2000). This analyse method is based on existential phenomenology. The apprentices considered that significant experiences in the workshop services were the entry to the workshop, the form of activity of the workshop, workshop community, the achieving of life management and work experience, the understanding of the significance of the education and the planning of the future. Regarding to learning the attitude, on-the-job learning, the importance of the mentors, the new information and new skills achieved were significant experiences at the workshop for the apprentices. The apprentices' experiences reflect well the achievement of the objectives which are set for the workshop services. Results of this study are also compatible to the results of earlier studies of apprentices' positive experience of the workshop services. The results can be utilised in developing the workshop services to offer more versatile experiences than before and to improve learning conditions on the workshops. The arranging of the on-the-job learning and the significance of the actions of mentors should also be noticed.
  • Jaskari, Johanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Aims. The purpose of this qualitative study was to systematically analyze how university teaching and learning vary in one Finnish university. My research questions were "How do students' approaches to learning vary?" and "How do teachers' approaches to teaching vary?" In this systematic review, I used the relational model of learning and teaching in universities as a theoretical framework. This model provides a tool to analyze the variation in students' approaches to learning and teachers' approaches to teaching in different teaching-learning environments. The quality of what students learn is linked to the variation in how students learn and how university teachers teach in teaching-learning environments in universities. The quality of learning and teaching is also connected with the allocation of resources and funding in universities and global university rankings. Methods. By using the method of systematic review, I analyzed the variation in teaching and learning in a data sample of 23 high-quality peer-reviewed academic articles. The research context of the studies, which concerned teaching and learning in universities, was the University of Helsinki. Results and conclusions. In this review, students' learning varies mainly in how the students approach their learning (i.e. as surface or deep approaches to learning). Students' learning is modified by the students' learning strategies (e.g. as systematic or critical studies), study orientations (i.e. reproduction- or meaning-oriented learning), and study orchestrations (i.e. different profiles of approaches to learning). Teaching varies mainly in how the teachers approach their teaching (i.e. as teacher- or student-focused approaches to teaching). Teaching is modified by the teachers' conceptions of teaching, teaching strategies (i.e. content- or learning-focused approaches to teaching), and amounts of pedagogical training (that affect the approaches to teaching). Both learning and teaching vary in different teaching-learning environments (both within courses and between disciplines). Both students' and teachers' conceptions of knowledge (e.g. as integrated or fragmented knowledge; declarative or procedural knowledge) affect their approaches to learning and teaching. This systematic review synthesizes what we know about learning and teaching in one university in Finland. This knowledge provides guidelines on how the quality of learning and teaching can be improved both in policy and practice largely in universities in Finland. Essentially, learning is based on good teaching that is focused on the students' learning.
  • Kallunki, Veera; Karppinen, Seija; Komulainen, Kauko (2017)
    This article examines a physics course for pre-service primary teachers in which physics, crafts and drama were taught together by connecting the standpoints of crafts and drama. The study was carried out by three university educators from these disciplines during an advanced optional course for student-teachers at the University of Helsinki in Finland. This article discusses the impact of the multidisciplinary teaching approach on the participants' learning outcomes. First, the article explains the multidisciplinary teaching model, an educational energy game that the student-teachers designed as part of the course. Second, it describes the learning that emerged from the student-teachers' learning process, including (1) learning skills, (2) new pedagogic thinking and (3) a change of attitude towards integrative teaching. Finally, the analysis shows the strength of sociocultural animation, which is traced through a path of becoming animated.
  • Lensu, Sanna; Waselius, Tomi; Penttonen, Markku; Nokia, Miriam S. (2019)
    Hippocampal dentate spikes (DSs) are short-duration, large-amplitude fluctuations in hilar local field potentials and take place while resting and sleeping. During DSs, dentate gyms granule cells increase firing while CA1 pyramidal cells decrease firing. Recent findings suggest DSs play a significant role in memory consolidation after training on a hippocampus-dependent, nonspatial associative learning task. Here, we aimed to find out whether DSs are important in other types of hippocampus-dependent learning tasks as well. To this end, we trained adult male Sprague-Dawley rats in a spatial reference memory task, a fixed interval task, and a pattern separation task. During a rest period immediately after each training session, we either let neural activity to take place as usual, timed electrical stimulation of the ventral hippocampal commissure (vHC) to immediately follow DSs, or applied the vHC stimulation during a random neural state. We found no effect of vHC stimulation on performance in the spatial reference memory task or in the fixed interval task. Surprisingly, vHC stimulation, especially contingent on DSs, improved performance in the pattern separation task. In conclusion, the behavioral relevance of hippocampal processing and DSs seems to depend on the task at hand. It could be that in an intact brain, offline memory consolidation by default involves associating neural representations of temporally separate but related events. In some cases this might be beneficial for adaptive behavior in the future (associative learning), while in other cases it might not (pattern separation). NEW & NOTEWORTHY The behavioral relevance of dentate spikes seems to depend on the learning task at hand. We suggest that dentate spikes are related to associating neural representations of temporally separate but related events within the dentate gyrus. In some cases this might be beneficial for adaptive behavior in the future (associative learning), while in other cases it might not (pattern separation).
  • Savela, Nina; Oksanen, Atte; Kaakinen, Markus; Noreikis, Marius; Xiao, Yu (2020)
    Augmented reality (AR) applications have recently emerged for entertainment and educational purposes and have been proposed to have positive effects on social interaction. In this study, we investigated the impact of a mobile, indoor AR feature on sociability, entertainment, and learning. We conducted a field experiment using a quiz game in a Finnish science center exhibition. We divided participants (N = 372) into an experimental group (AR app users) and two control groups (non-AR app users; pen-and-paper participants), including 28 AR users of follow-up interviews. We used Kruskal-Wallis rank test to compare the experimental groups and the content analysis method to explore AR users' experiences. Although interviewed AR participants recognized the entertainment value and learning opportunities for AR, we did not detect an increase in perceived sociability, social behavior, positive affect, or learning performance when comparing the experimental groups. Instead, AR interviewees experienced a strong conflict between the two different realities. Despite the engaging novelty value of new technology, performance and other improvements do not automatically emerge. We also discuss potential conditional factors. Future research and development of AR and related technologies should note the possible negative effects of dividing attention to both realities.
  • Alin, Ella (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    This study discusses the importance of artistic practices and community arts centres for development understood as a process of social and individual emancipation. Specifically, the study looks at emancipation from the point of view of overcoming social and psychological hindrances to the autonomy of an individual. The empirical case under scrutiny is a community centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, its arts and crafts project (ACP) and one of its drama projects. The study asks, what is the role of the projects in project participants’ lives, and what kinds of spaces the projects are. Initially, I assumed that the role of the creative action taking place in the projects, as critical theory suggests, would be substantial for the participants, because of the “learning by doing” taking place in the projects, and because of bigger “ownership” of one’s own doing, when compared to, for example, school environments. The research material is derived from 18 interviews, observations, written products of the projects, and my field and research diaries, which compose the text for hermeneutic analysis. The research questions were developed and further answered through a hermeneutic process of dialogue with this text. The analysis results in new ‘facts’ that answer the research questions, as is the nature of results in hermeneutic studies. These facts, or, the findings, support the assumption about the importance of the method of learning by doing, and ownership of one’s doing, but turn the emphasis towards the social context of the projects. The projects had a great impact in the project participants’ lives in two intertwined spheres. These are: 1) sphere of learning, and 2) sphere of “feeling at home”. The projects enhanced the participants’ feeling of freedom. One of the main reasons for this was the non-discriminatory social environment of the projects, especially regarding non-discrimination based on socio-economic class. In the study, I argue that both projects contributed to the emancipation of their participants. The theoretical framework of development as emancipation, which is discussed with the empirical part of the study, is founded on the Freirean concept of humanisation, the capabilities approach as developed by Martha Nussbaum, and the idea of orienting towards objects formulated by Sara Ahmed. The study is an addition to the recent body of research on community arts centres in South Africa, conducted by South African researchers such as Gerard Hagg, Eben Lochner, Thamsanqa Mzaku, and Zanele Madiba.
  • Aarnio, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Aims. Previous research on entrepreneurial education has mainly been driven by economic interest. It has been based on quantitative approaches focusing on learning outcomes. Entrepreneurial competencies have been observed as learnable and teachable, although there has been contradictory evidence about effectiveness of entrepreneurial education. Process perspective on entrepreneurial education has left as a minor viewpoint. By now, researchers’ have recommended socio-constructive and experiential approaches to pedagogics. The objective of this study is to bring together previously separate research traditions on educational outcomes and process, introducing more profound picture of learning entrepreneurial competencies especially from the students’ perspective. Methods. The study was conducted by interviewing 18 fifth-year engineering students, who had started their studies on August 1, 2013. The interview invitations were targeted based on study register data for reaching participants from diverse backgrounds on entrepreneurial studies. The research instrument was built on directions of narrative research, critical incident technique and lifeline approach. The data were analyzed with content analysis combined with abductive reasoning and data quantification. Results and conclusions. Consistently with the previous studies, entrepreneurial competencies were shown possible to learn. All students recognized learning of business competencies. However, competencies needed in early-phase entrepreneurship were emphasized by students, who had accomplished several entrepreneurial courses. Results concerning learning process indicated that combining formal learning environments with elements of informal learning resulted as a wide spectrum of learned entrepreneurial competencies. Learning was located especially in problem-solving and project working environments where students co-worked in inter- or multidisciplinary groups. However, other than entrepreneurial courses did not directly support learning of entrepreneurial competencies. Thus, the findings set base for further actions in integrating the elements of entrepreneurial courses into project courses.
  • Happonen, Jenni Pauliina; Heiskanen, Eva; Matschoss, Kaisa; Mikkonen, Irmeli (2020)
    Learning from experiments has been seen important in developing climate and energy solutions, but less attention has been paid to learning from the inevitable failures associated with experiments. Learning from failures is nevertheless challenging because sharing such experiences is difficult. This study examines a novel kind of intervention developed to support learning from failures related to renewable energy experiments. A series of After Work events for pioneers of energy experiments was held in different locations in Finland. A total of 139 experts interested in energy experiments took part in the events during 2018-2019. The aim of the Energy Pioneers’ After Work event series was to encourage energy experimenters and other actors to openly share their failures, thus promoting the adoption of an experimental culture and the local dissemination of experimental lessons. The article explores what the events revealed from the failures, what participants learned from the discussions at these events and what we can learn from the intervention. Based on the results, we consider how sharing experiences of failures could be promoted, how the intervention itself failed, and what was learned from organizing the series of events.
  • Kärnä-Behm, Jaana (2019)
    The purpose of this study is to promote the experiential learning (EL) method in the pedagogics of art and design in higher education. This article is based on a case study consisting of two pedagogical projects in interior design courses, the probing project and the multisensory space project, carried out between 2014 and 2016 with trainee teachers. Using the data from these projects I analyse using the qualitative content analysis method how and with what implications EL supports learning of art and design in higher education. The results show that EL was found to be inspiring and self-expressive, and was an unusual and motivating way to learn interior design. In a teacher education context EL gave students ideas about collaborative and EL-based methods of learning that could be applied to their own future teaching projects.
  • Forsell, Sabrina; Kalliala, Ilkka; Halttunen, Mervi; Redman, Charles W. E.; Leeson, Simon; Tropé, Ameli; Moss, Esther; Kyrgiou, Maria; Pyörälä, Eeva; Nieminen, Pekka (2020)
    Simple Summary Cervical cancer prevention is presently undergoing a thorough reformation due to introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV)-testing and vaccines in primary prevention. The screening program, however, is more than a single test or preventive intervention-the possible lesion has to be found, located and treated. Colposcopy plays a major role in this management. Literature dealing with training and learning, especially with colposcopy, is extremely scarce. The aim of the European Federation of Colposcopy, EFC, is to improve the education and training in colposcopy, e.g., by organizing colposcopy courses. The aim of our prospective interventional study was to pilot this intensive participant activating EFC Basic Colposcopy Course on the short- and long-term learning of colposcopy-related knowledge, image recognition and the diagnostic confidence. High-quality colposcopy is essential in cervical cancer prevention. We performed a multicentre prospective interventional pilot-study, evaluating the effect of a six-hour case-based colposcopy course on short- and long-term learning of colposcopy-related knowledge, diagnostic accuracy levels and confidence. We recruited 213 colposcopists participating in three European Federation of Colposcopy (EFC) basic colposcopy courses (Finland, Norway, UK). The study consisted of three tests with identical content performed before, after and 2 months after the course, including ten colposcopic images, ten patient cases and scales for marking confidence in the answers. Outcome measures where mean scores in correct case-management, diagnosis (including high-grade lesion recognition), transformation-zone recognition and confidence in answers. Results were compared between the three tests and stratified according to experience. Mean test scores improved after the course for all participants. The increase was highest for beginners. Confidence in answers improved and the number of colposcopists showing high confidence with low scores decreased. A structured case-based course improves skills and confidence especially for inexperienced colposcopists; however, trainers should be aware of the risk of overconfidence. To complement theoretical training, further hands-on training including high-quality feedback is recommended. Conclusions drawn from long-term learning are limited due to the low participation in the follow-up test.
  • Tammi, Tuisku (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Objectives. This thesis aims to explore temporal changes in task-related physiological arousal and their connection to performance in repeated trials of a steering task. Moderate physiological arousal is believed to direct attention towards task-relevant stimuli, leading to performance improvements, while too high or low arousal is detrimental (the Yerkes-Dodson law). However, this approach does not explicitly account for changes in arousal over time. In this study, temporal changes in task-related sympathetic arousal are modelled as habituation, which has traditionally been used to describe changes in orienting responses to repeated presentations of non-target stimuli. Habituation during task performance is interpreted in terms of predictability and significance, aiming to describe changes in attentional processing during learning in an evolutionarily plausible manner. Furthermore, connections between performance and individual differences in habituation rate and spontaneous (task-unrelated) sympathetic activity are examined. Finally, habituation is compared to deviations from predicted performance. Methods. Participants (N = 9) played a total of 40 trials of a high-speed steering task in eight sessions over a period of 2-3 weeks. Electrodermal activity during baseline and task performance was recorded in five sessions. Change in task-related skin conductance response (SCR) frequency over trials 1-5 within sessions was used to determine individual rates of habituation whereas SCR frequency during baseline indicated individual spontaneous activity. Trial-level difference scores were used to explore habituation and deviations from predicted performance (a power-law learning curve) within participants. Results and conclusions. Task-related arousal was found to decrease with repeated trials for all participants in nearly all sessions, indicating that a habituation model was successful in capturing changes in arousal in a task situation. Furthermore, sustained task-related arousal (slow habituation) was connected to better performance both between and within participants. High spontaneous activity, on the other hand, was associated with performance decrements. Taken together, these results suggest that temporal changes in task-related arousal during learning are related to the processing of task-relevant cues and may reflect motivational states that direct selective attention, while high spontaneous activity is related to performance decrements, perhaps due to interference from task-unrelated stress.
  • Berg, Minna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Teaching and learning are interactional processes between the teacher and his or her pupils. Good interaction skills are an essential part of the teacher profession. Learning good interaction skills and creating ways and practices that promote the use of those skills is of ten recommended. However, the teacher studies do not direct the students to process these skills. In the present study, it was explored whether comprehensive school teachers of Finland participating in the three credit follow-up training learned to use social interaction skills during the intervention. The studied skills were based on Gordon's theory (2003). The participants were 20 teachers who attended the training, and 20 teachers not attending the training. The effects of the intervention on teachers were examined by using the DCI-instrument (Talvio, Lonka, Kuusela, & Lintunen, 2012). Qualitative, theory-driven content analysis was used to classify the data. The statistical differences between the pre-test and post-test scores were examined with the Wilcoxon signed rank test. After the intervention, teachers who participated in the training used significantly more listening and active listening skills and communicated in more constructive ways. Furthermore, they used significantly less roadblocks to communication. In the comparison group, no differences between pre- and post-tests were perceived. To conclude, the teachers' course on social interaction skills appeared to achieve its goals, since the teachers learned to apply the studied skills during the intervention. This study adds to the development of continuing teacher training by presenting a way of teaching students skills that enhance the quality of interaction.
  • Tomasini Ponce, Rolando Mario (Hanken School of Economics, 2012)
    Economics and Society – 250
    Disasters challenge and destroy growth and socio-economic achievements. They are often communicated in the media with heartbreaking images of suffering, destruction and despair. They tend to inspire a wave of generosity and compassion among those who feel vulnerable, concerned, touched. Individuals manifest their solidarity through donations, collections and by sending money, goods, foods, medicines, and other essential items. Like individuals, companies are increasingly moved to act upon their sense of compassion and generosity, and contribute with skills, capacity, and of course money. These initiatives are welcomed by employees who are ready to put their knowledge and expertise to the benefit of the greater good, on behalf of the company. When a natural disaster takes place, humanitarian organizations activate all their response mechanisms to assess and respond as quickly as possible to the rising needs. However, everything is uncertain, and only time can provide the answers as information becomes available about the level of impact, the number of people affected, the resources available and the type and length of aid required. Among the difficulties faced by humanitarian organization is getting access overnight to trained and available staff who could implemented such sophisticated and life-saving logistics. This thesis takes a look at the secondments from different companies to disaster relief operations. It develops a framework for informal learning during secondments which can be used by managers to ensure that the secondment can be a fruitful learning experience for the seconded manager, in which he or she can further their knowledge by applying their skills set in a different context. Through the development of the framework, and the three essays, the thesis addresses three main questions: 1. How do partnerships develop in disaster relief operations? (Essay 1) 2. How do partners interact during a disaster relief operation? (Essay 2) 3. What can seconded managers learn from secondments to disaster relief operations? (Essay 3)
  • Oksanen, Jenni (2003)
    This Master’s thesis examines the optimal form of a firm’s organisation. Specifically, it discusses the efficient degree of labour specialisation in a firm. Specialisation of labour improves labour productivity through learning-by-doing. The problem of organisation arises, however, from the fact that the actions of specialised workers need to be coordinated in order to achieve gains from cooperation. Therefore, coordination costs may limit returns to specialisation. Moreover, changes in technology or workers’ human capital may change the returns to learning in favour of less specialisation. The thesis compares theoretically the relative efficiency of organisations, which feature different degrees of labour specialisation. The comparison is made by showing how learning and communication take place in different organisational structures, and how the costs and returns to these activities vary. The optimal degree of labour specialisation under different conditions is then derived. The model of Lindbeck and Snower (2000) addresses the efficient form of work organisation in terms of the degree of labour specialisation by work task. It examines when it is worthwhile to have workers specialising by task and when they should perform multiple tasks. It finds that it is optimal for workers to perform multiple tasks only if performing different tasks is sufficiently complementary to each other. As a result, the returns to task integration outweigh the returns to specialisation. Moreover, exogenous changes in technology or human capital may change the relationship of these returns in favour of one or the other type of organisation. The second model from Greenan and Guellec (1994) compares a centralised and a decentralised organisation focusing on the coordination of learning-by-doing among workers. It takes communication costs into account because learning requires information sharing among workers. A decentralised organisation is associated with low costs of producing knowledge and high communication costs, whereas the opposite holds for the centralised organisation. It turns out that the optimal organisational form depends on the size of the labour force. Furthermore, the relative efficiency of the two organisation styles may change in favour of decentralisation when the differentiation of products in the economy grows.
  • Ärilä, Heli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Children’s participation as learners and members of the community has become an important pedagogical value in preschool education and in the whole educational system. Hearing children’s views has also been emphasized within the sphere of science but learning has remained a subject and study area mainly defined by adults. The aim of this study is to bring out the children’s own perspective and to describe what kind of things the preschool children are interested to learn and what they themselves tell about learning, transmitted by the pedagogical documentation method. 26 children and two adult interviewers from one day-care center in Uusimaa region participated in this study. The research data consisted of 156 learning wishes drawn by the children and of videotaped interviews in which the learning wishes and children’s thoughts about preschool were discussed, led by the adults’ questions. Based on the inductive analysis process the research was directed at children’s interest and narration about learning. The study was carried out as a case study with child perspective, combining narrative thematic analysis and content analysis methods. The children were mostly interested to learn action-based and visible skills which originated from children’s environment, communities and their own experiences. The most popular were physical skills and the biggest group of cognitive skills was reading and writing, chosen largely by girls. The children were also interested in concrete challenges and ability experiences offered by the preschool exercises. This had narrative resemblance to children’s other positive expressions of their readiness to learn and to develop their skills. Narrated by the children, learning appeared as the increase of skills, knowledge and autonomy, whereas play and exploration had a little role in the children’s own descriptions. It would be useful to support children’s awareness of their cognitive learning in preschool, to reinforce children’s positive self-image as learners. It is also important to strengthen both boys’ and girls’ interest in reading and multiliteracy skills, in ways that are meaningful to children. It is possible to aim at supporting children’s resilience, co-operation, thinking and self-image as learners by their own learning objectives. Children’s objectives also create opportunities to build connections between children’s communities and learning environments, from children’s own perspective.
  • Wolfram, Marc; van der Heijden, Jeroen; Juhola, Sirkku Kaarina; Patterson, James (2019)
    Over the past decade, diverse urban governance innovations and experiments have emerged with the declared aim to foster climate change mitigation and adaptation, involving actors at multiple levels and scales. This urban turn in environmental governance has been accompanied by normative claims and high expectations regarding a leading role of cities in coping with climate change. However, while time pressures for effective action are growing, little is known about the social learning processes involved in such urban climate governance innovations, and what they actually contribute to achieve the required transformations in urban systems. Therefore, this special issue presents eight selected papers that explore learning in urban climate governance practices in a variety of local, national and international contexts. Their findings point to a more ambiguous role of these practices as they tend to support incremental adjustments rather than deeper social learning for radical systemic change. Against this backdrop we propose a heuristic distinguishing basic modes and sources in governance learning that aims to facilitate future empirical research and comparison, thus filling a critical theory gap. Using this framework for interpretation illustrates that urban climate governance learning urgently requires more openness, parallel processes, exogenous sources, as well as novel meta-learning practices.
  • Leisti, Tuomas; Häkkinen, Jukka (2018)
    Certain experiments have shown that reasoning may weaken the stability of people's preferences, especially with regard to well-learned perceptual judgment and decision-making tasks, while learning has an opposite, consistency-enhancing effect on preferences. We examined the effects of these factors in a visual multi-attribute decision-making task where reasoning, in contrast, has been found to benefit judgments by making them more stable. The initial assumption in this study was that this benefit would be typical for novel tasks, like the one employed here, and that it would decrease when the task is thoroughly learned. This assumption was examined in three experiments by contrasting it with an alternative assumption that this previously obtained beneficial effect is caused solely by learning, not by reasoning. It was found that learning indeed makes preferences more stable by consolidating the weights of the attributes. Reasoning, however, does not benefit this task when it is completely novel but facilitates learning and stability of the preferences long run, therefore increasing the consistency of the participants in the macrolevel. Copyright (c) 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Tervaniemi, Mari; Huotilainen, Minna; Brattico, Elvira (2014)
  • Minkeviciene, Rimante; Hlushchenko, Iryna; Virenque, Anaïs; Lahti, Lauri; Khanal, Pushpa; Rauramaa, Tuomas; Koistinen, Arto; Leinonen, Ville; Noé, Francesco Mattia; Hotulainen, Pirta (2019)
    In this study, we performed a comprehensive behavioral and anatomical analysis of the Missing in Metastasis (Mtss1/MIM) knockout (KO) mouse brain. We also analyzed the expression of MIM in different brain regions at different ages. MIM is an I-BAR containing membrane curving protein, shown to be involved in dendritic spine initiation and dendritic branching in Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. Behavioral analysis of MIM KO mice revealed defects in both learning and reverse-learning, alterations in anxiety levels and reduced dominant behavior, and confirmed the previously described deficiency in motor coordination and pre-pulse inhibition. Anatomically, we observed enlarged brain ventricles and decreased cortical volume. Although MIM expression was relatively low in hippocampus after early development, hippocampal pyramidal neurons exhibited reduced density of thin and stubby dendritic spines. Learning deficiencies can be connected to all detected anatomical changes. Both behavioral and anatomical findings are typical for schizophrenia mouse models.
  • Tiippana, Kaisa; Möttönen, Riikka; Schwartz, Jean-Luc (2015)