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Hippocampal lesions impair performance on a conditional delayed matching and non-matching to position task in the rat

Sloan, Hazel L., Dobrossy, Mate and Dunnett, Stephen Bruce 2006. Hippocampal lesions impair performance on a conditional delayed matching and non-matching to position task in the rat. Behavioural Brain Research 171 (2) , pp. 240-250. 10.1016/j.bbr.2006.03.042

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The hippocampus is thought to be involved in a range of cognitive processes, from the ability to acquire new memories, to the ability to learn about spatial relationships. Humans and monkeys with damage to the hippocampus are typically impaired on delayed matching to sample tasks, of which the operant delayed matching to position task (DMTP) is a rat analogue. The reported effects of hippocampal damage on DMTP vary, ranging from delay-dependent deficits to no deficit whatsoever. The present study investigates a novel memory task; the conditional delayed matching/non-matching to position task (CDM/NMTP) in the Skinner box. CDM/NMTP uses the presence of specific stimulus cues to signify whether a particular trial is matching or non-matching in nature. Thus, it incorporates both the task contingencies within one session, and supplements the requirement for remembering the side of the lever in the sample phase with attending to the stimulus and remembering the conditional discrimination for the rule. Rats were trained preoperatively and the effects of bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the hippocampus were examined on postoperative retention of the task. Rats with lesions of the hippocampus incurred a significant impairment on the task that was manifest at all delays intervals. Despite a bias towards matching during training, trials of either type were performed with equivalent accuracy and neither rule was affected differentially by the lesion. This task may prove useful in determining the cognitive roles of a range of brain areas.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Activity; Cognition; Hippocampus; Operant behaviour; Rat; Working memory.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0166-4328
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 22:09

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