Anterograde and retrograde amnesia in rats with large hippocampal lesions

Hippocampus. 2001;11(1):18-26. doi: 10.1002/1098-1063(2001)11:1<18::AID-HIPO1016>3.0.CO;2-5.


A test of socially acquired food preferences was used to study the effects of large lesions to the hippocampal formation (HPC) on anterograde and retrograde memory in rats. In the anterograde test, rats with HPC lesions normally acquired the food preference but showed a faster rate of forgetting than control groups. When the food preference was acquired preoperatively, HPC groups exhibited a temporally graded retrograde amnesia in which memory was impaired when the preference was acquired within 2 days of surgery but not at longer delays. The results support the traditional theory that the HPC contributes to the consolidation of newly acquired information into a durable memory trace that is represented in other brain areas. Consistent with this view, the results indicate that, once a memory trace is consolidated, the HPC does not participate in its storage or retrieval. The possibility is considered that extrahippocampal areas in the medial temporal lobe are needed to maintain a memory trace throughout its existence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amnesia, Anterograde / pathology*
  • Amnesia, Anterograde / physiopathology*
  • Amnesia, Retrograde / pathology*
  • Amnesia, Retrograde / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology
  • Food Preferences / physiology
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans