Radio-Frequency Lesions of the Thalamus Produce Delayed-Nonmatching-to-Sample Impairments Comparable to Pyrithiamine-Induced Encephalopathy in Rats

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Rats were trained and matched on a delayed-nonmatching-to-sample (DNMTS) task and randomly assigned to treatment. In Experiment 1, radio-frequency (RF) lesions were aimed at lateral portions of the internal medullary lamina (L-IML), midline thalamus (MT), mammillary bodies (MB), and the combination of MT and MB. In Experiment 2, RF lesions were aimed at the fornix. After recovery, DNMTS was retrained at retention intervals retention interval of 3.0–18.0 s, the critical retention interval for 75% DNMTS accuracy was determined by a staircase procedure, and spontaneous exploration was observed in an open field. L-IML lesions produced significant deficits on DNMTS and exploratory behavior that were comparable to deficits on the same tasks in rats recovered from pyrithiamine-induced thiamine deficiency. Fornix lesions produced significant DNMTS deficits that were substantially smaller than for the L-IML group. The MT, MB, and MT+MB treatments had no significant effect on DNMTS.

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