Comparative effects of perirhinal cortex and anterior thalamic nuclei lesions on radial-maze learning, spontaneous object recognition and configural learning (2001)
The anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) and the perirhinal cortex (PRC) have been differentially implicated in independent memory systems subserving spatial learning and object recognition systems respectively (Aggleton & Brown, 1999). A more traditional view is that these two main regions should sub serve a single declarative memory system (Squire & Zola-Morgan, 1991). This study explicitly examined the comparative effects of ATN and PRC lesions in a spontaneous object recognition task (in an open field), spatial memory (in a 12-arm radial maze), and elemental and configural cue learning (also in the radial maze). On the spontaneous object recognition test no group differences were detected even when differing (80sec, 5min, 14min, 40min) delay times were introduced, providing an indication that neither the ATN nor PRC are essential for object recognition. For spatial memory, in both delayed (20sec, 5min, 14min, 40min) and standard versions, the ATN group demonstrated a marked impairment in comparison to both the Sham and PRC groups. The only effect of PRC lesions was to improve performance during the transition from the standard to delay procedure. These findings conflict with Liu & Bilkey's (1999) suggestion that the PRC is part of a temporal brain system subserving spatial memory. The PRC does however, appear to play a part in associative learning of complex objects, as these lesions produced impairments on the elemental-cue learning task and the configural-cue learning task, whereas ATN lesions had no detrimental effects on cue association learning. The results of this study confirm the differential involvement of the ATN and PRC in learning and memory but provide only partial support for Aggleton & Brown's (1999) specific hypothesis of dual memory systems responsible for anterograde amnesia.
KeywordsMemory--Physiological aspects; Learning--Physiological aspects; Brain--Localization of functions; Thalamus; Recognition (Psychology)--Physiological aspects; Space perception--Physiological aspects; Amnesia--Physiological aspects
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Bell, Rati (University of Canterbury. Biological Sciences, 2007)Diencephalic amnesia is thought to be the result of damage to a single thalamic structure that is responsible for the memory impairment. However, an alternative view is that different thalamic structures contribute to the ...
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