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6-Hydroxydopamine lesions of the prefrontal cortex in monkeys enhance performance on an analog of the Wisconsin Card Sort Test: possible interactions with subcortical dopamine

Roberts, A. C., De Salvia, M. A., Wilkinson, Lawrence Stephen, Collins, P., Muir, J. L., Everitt, B. J. and Robbins, T. W. 1994. 6-Hydroxydopamine lesions of the prefrontal cortex in monkeys enhance performance on an analog of the Wisconsin Card Sort Test: possible interactions with subcortical dopamine. Journal of Neuroscience 14 (5) , pp. 2531-2544.

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Abstract

The effects of 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the prefrontal cortex in monkeys were investigated on two cognitive tests of prefrontal function, spatial delayed response, and attentional set shifting. The latter test provided a componential analysis of the Wisconsin Card Sort Test, a commonly used clinical test of frontal lobe function in man. Acquisition of a visual compound discrimination requiring a shift of attention from one dimension to another (extradimensional shift), for example, shapes to lines, was significantly improved. This enhancement was behaviorally specific in that there were no effects on acquisition of a discrimination that required the continued maintenance of an attentional set toward one particular dimension (intradimensional shift), nor any effects on a series of visual or spatial discrimination reversals that involved the repeated shifting of responding between two exemplars from the same dimension. In contrast, spatial delayed response performance was impaired, in agreement with previous results. Neurochemical measures showed a marked depletion of dopamine limited to the prefrontal cortex and a smaller loss of prefrontal noradrenaline. This was accompanied by a long-term adaptive change in the striatum such that extracellular dopamine in the caudate nucleus, as measured by in vivo microdialysis, was elevated in response to potassium stimulation as long as 18 months postsurgery. It is proposed that attentional set shifting is mediated by a balanced interaction between prefrontal and striatal dopamine, and that elevated dopamine contributes to the improvement in attentional set-shifting ability. This interpretation is consistent with the impairment in attentional set-shifting ability observed in patients with Parkinson's disease or with damage to the frontal lobes using the same test as used here for infrahuman primates.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Medicine
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 0270-6474
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:49
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/85435

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