Perirhinal Cortex Contributions to Performance in the Morris Water Maze

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Rats with bilateral, electrolytic lesions of perirhinal cortex (PRC), lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC), or combined lesions (PRLE) were impaired relative to controls (sham) during initial acquisition in the Morris water maze, although all groups were eventually able to learn to locate the platform. A further deficit in the performance of PRC and PRLE, but not LEC groups, was evident, however, when a probe trial was conducted 2 min (but not 24 hours) after training. When the performance of sham- and PRC-lesioned rats was tested with variable memory delays inserted between training and probe trials, lesioned rats displayed an increase in the rate of forgetting for information made available during the training trial. This finding suggests that the PRC normally stores information regarding the cue-platform relationship and transfers this information to related structures during water maze performance.

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