Neural activity in the hippocampus during conflict resolution

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Abstract

This study examined configural association theory and conflict resolution models in relation to hippocampal neural activity during positive patterning tasks. According to configural association theory, the hippocampus is important for responses to compound stimuli in positive patterning tasks. In contrast, according to the conflict resolution model, the hippocampus is important for responses to single stimuli in positive patterning tasks. We hypothesized that if configural association theory is applicable, and not the conflict resolution model, the hippocampal theta power should be increased when compound stimuli are presented. If, on the other hand, the conflict resolution model is applicable, but not configural association theory, then the hippocampal theta power should be increased when single stimuli are presented. If both models are valid and applicable in the positive patterning task, we predict that the hippocampal theta power should be increased by presentation of both compound and single stimuli during the positive patterning task. To examine our hypotheses, we measured hippocampal theta power in rats during a positive patterning task. The results showed that hippocampal theta power increased during the presentation of a single stimulus, but did not increase during the presentation of a compound stimulus. This finding suggests that the conflict resolution model is more applicable than the configural association theory for describing neural activity during positive patterning tasks.

HIGHLIGHTS

▸ We recorded hippocampal theta power in rats during a positive patterning task.

HIGHLIGHTS

▸ The results showed that theta power was increased by presentation of single stimuli.

HIGHLIGHTS

▸ These results provide support for the conflict resolution model.

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