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Septal lesions impair the acquisition of a cued place navigation task: attentional or memory deficit?
Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Comparative Study Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Review --- Old month value: Mar
These experiments were designed to analyze how medial septal lesions reducing the cholinergic innervation in the hippocampus might affect place learning. Rats with quisqualic lesions of the medial septal area (MS) were trained in a water maze and on a homing table where the escape position was located at a spatially fixed position and further indicated by a salient cue suspended above it. The lesioned rats were significantly impaired in reaching the cued escape platform during training. In addition rats, did not show any discrimination of the training sector during a probe trial in which no platform or cue was present. This impairment remained significant during further training in the absence of the cue. When the cued escape platform was located at an unpredictable spatial location, the MS-lesioned rats showed no deficit and spent more time under the cue than control rats during the probe trial. On the homing board, with a salient object in close proximity to the escape hole, the MS rats showed no deficit in escape latencies, although a significant reduction in spatial memory was observed. However, this was overcome by additional training in the absence of the cue. Under these conditions, rats with septal lesions were prone to develop a pure guidance strategy, whereas normal rats combined a guidance strategy with a memory of the escape position relative to more distant landmarks. The presence of a salient cue appeared to decrease attention to environmental landmarks, thus reducing spatial memory. These data confirm the general hypothesis that MS lesions reduce the capacity to rely on a representation of the relation between several landmarks with different salience.
Analysis of Variance Animals Attention/*physiology Brain Diseases/complications/pathology Female Learning/*physiology Memory Disorders/diagnosis/*etiology Rats Septum Pellucidum/*pathology Spatial Behavior/*physiology
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