On the role of hippocampal connections in the performance of place and cue tasks: Comparisons with damage to hippocampus

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38 male albino Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to run a radial maze with a procedure that involved 2 kinds of learning (place and cue) and 2 memory functions (working and reference) before receiving fimbria-fornix, entorhinal-cortex, dentate-gyrus, mammillary-body, or no lesions to determine behavioral changes following interruption of the main connections of hippocampus and closely related areas. Ss with fimbria-fornix and entorhinal-cortex lesions were impaired on both the place and cue tasks. These Ss suffered a general impairment in working memory on both tasks but were impaired in reference memory only on the place task. Ss with dentate-gyrus and mammillary-body lesions were able to perform the complex place and cue tasks with minimal problems. The present findings are contrasted with those of previous research, which indicate that direct damage to the hippocampus (including all cell fields, alveus, fimbria) results in impaired performance only on place tasks. Taken together, present and past findings indicate that interruption of hippocampal input/output pathways and/or damaging some closely related structures has a greater effect on the behaviors studied than does direct damage to the hippocampus. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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