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Striatal lesions in the mouse disrupt acquisition and retention, but not implicit learning, in the SILT procedural motor learning task

Brooks, Simon Philip, Trueman, Rebecca C. and Dunnett, Stephen Bruce 2007. Striatal lesions in the mouse disrupt acquisition and retention, but not implicit learning, in the SILT procedural motor learning task. Brain Research 1185 , pp. 179-188. 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.09.017

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People with Huntington's disease (HD) have been found to have an implicit learning deficit whereby they are typically unable to detect repeated sequences embedded within randomly presented stimuli. The operant serial implicit learning task (SILT) was designed to probe animal models of HD for implicit learning deficits using the 9-hole box apparatus. The present study used mice to determine whether “early” striatal lesions would prevent SILT acquisition and to confirm previous findings that post-training “late lesions” would impair the retention of task performance. The SILT is a two-phase task whereby an initial stimulus light (S1) presentation was presented in one of five possible locations. A correct nose-poke response to the S1 resulted in this light being extinguished and a second, apparently random light presentation (S2). A correct nose-poke to S2 resulted in a reward. Within the apparently random stimulus light presentations, a predictable S1/S2 combination was embedded. Both lesion groups (“early” pre-acquisition and “late” post-acquisition lesions) demonstrated increased reaction times to S1, with the late-lesion group also recording reduced task accuracy when compared with the sham control group. The early-lesion group also demonstrated increased response latencies for the S2 stimuli during task acquisition, this was also true for task retention in the late-lesion group. No difference between the control group and early-lesion group was found for the S2 response accuracy during the acquisition period. After the lesioning of the late-lesion group, both lesion groups demonstrated reduced accuracy to the S2 stimuli as the control group improved their performance throughout the test period, while the accuracy of both lesion groups remained stable at a lower performance level. All three experimental groups were able to utilize the embedded predictable information. The present data suggest that the striatum is important for the acquisition and retention of motor learning tasks, but does not play a role in the learning of implicit information.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
ISSN: 0006-8993
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:34

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