Monkeys With Rhinal Cortex Damage or Neurotoxic Hippocampal Lesions Are Impaired on Spatial Scene Learning and Object Reversals

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Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) with lesions of the rhinal cortex or parahippocampal gyrus (made by aspiration) or hippocampus (made with ibotenic acid) and unoperated controls were tested on object discrimination and reversal, place discrimination and reversal, and spatial scene learning to determine the contribution of these temporal lobe structures to these forms of learning and memory. Rhinal cortex lesions produced a severe deficit in object reversal learning; hippocampal lesions produced a milder deficit. Monkeys with rhinal cortex removals and those with hippocampal lesions were equally impaired on spatial scene learning. None of the lesions impaired place discrimination or reversal. These results argue against the idea that the mnemonic contributions of the rhinal cortex and hippocampus are limited to object and spatial domains, respectively.

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