Perirhinal cortex and place-object conditional learning in the rat

Behav Neurosci. 2001 Aug;115(4):776-85. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.115.4.776.


The present study examined whether excitotoxic lesions of the perirhinal cortex can affect acquisition of a place-object conditional task in which object and spatial information must be integrated. Testing was carried out in a double Y-maze apparatus, in which rats learned a conditional rule of the type, "In Place X, choose Object A, not Object B (A+ vs. B-); in Place Y, choose Object B, not Object A (A- vs. B+)." Perirhinal cortex lesions significantly impaired acquisition of this task while sparing performance of an allocentric spatial memory task performed in a radial arm maze. Perirhinal cortex lesions also had no apparent effect on a 1-pair object discrimination task performed in the double Y maze or on retention and acquisition of 4-pair concurrent discrimination problems performed in a computer-automated touch screen testing apparatus. The results suggest that, although the perirhinal cortex and hippocampus can be functionally dissociated, their normal mode of operation includes the integration of object and spatial information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Discrimination, Psychological
  • Entorhinal Cortex / pathology
  • Entorhinal Cortex / physiology*
  • Form Perception / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology