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An examination of the spatial working memory deficit following neurotoxic medial dorsal thalamic lesions in rats

Hunt, Peter R. and Aggleton, John 1998. An examination of the spatial working memory deficit following neurotoxic medial dorsal thalamic lesions in rats. Behavioural Brain Research 97 (1-2) , pp. 129-141. 10.1016/S0166-4328(98)00033-3

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The present study examined the performance of rats with neurotoxic lesions centred in the thalamic nucleus medialis dorsalis on standard and modified versions of the eight arm radial maze test. In Experiment 1, the thalamic lesions produced a borderline deficit in acquisition of the standard task, but subsequently had no effect when a delay was interposed after the first four arms had been entered. The same lesions had no effect on T-maze alternation, but they did impair radial-arm maze performance when intramaze and extramaze cues were set against each other. In Experiment 2, lesions of the dorsomedial thalamus impaired acquisition of the standard radial-arm maze task, but combining the results from Experiments 1 and 2 showed that this acquisition deficit was confined to those animals in which bilateral damage extended into the adjacent anterior thalamic nuclei. In addition, lesions of the dorsomedial thalamus disrupted radial-arm maze performance when the task was modified to compare working memory and reference memory and increased activity and exploration. These changes were not associated with anterior thalamic damage. Finally, the thalamic lesions did not affect performance on a test of spontaneous object recognition. It is concluded that lesions of medialis dorsalis do not disrupt spatial memory but do affect other processes that can interact with task performance. These include a failure of extramaze cues to overshadow intramaze cues, a change in activity and exploration levels and deficits in with-holding spatial responses.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Medial dorsal thalamus ; Working memory ; Reference memory ; Spatial memory ; Recognition ; Anterior thalamic nucleus ; Amnesia
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0166-4328
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:43

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