Contributions of postrhinal and perirhinal cortex to contextual information processing

Behav Neurosci. 2000 Oct;114(5):882-94. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.114.5.882.


The role of the postrhinal cortex (POR) and the perirhinal cortex (PER) in processing relational or contextual information was examined with Pavlovian fear conditioning. Rats with electrolytic or neurotoxic lesions of the POR or PER were tested in 2 contextual fear conditioning paradigms. In Experiment 1, electrolytic lesions of the POR or PER produced impairments in contextual fear conditioning but not in conditioning to a phasic auditory conditioned stimulus. Neurotoxic lesions of the POR or PER likewise resulted in anterograde (Experiment 2) and retrograde (Experiment 3) deficits in fear conditioning to the training context in an unsignaled shock paradigm. The results suggest that operations performed on sensory information by the POR and PER are necessary to support contextual learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Environment
  • Fear / physiology
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Olfactory Pathways / pathology
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiopathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans