Involvement of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex in temporal behavioral sequencing: subregional analysis of the medial prefrontal cortex in rat

Behav Brain Res. 2001 Nov 29;126(1-2):105-14. doi: 10.1016/s0166-4328(01)00251-0.


We recently demonstrated that rats with dorsal anterior cingulate (ACd) cortical lesions were disrupted in the acquisition of a temporal Go/No-Go alternation task, suggesting either an involvement of this medial prefrontal subregion in sequencing temporally ordered behaviors or alternatively in more general response selection processes 'Gisquet-Verrier et al., Psychobiology 28 (2000) 248'. In the present study, the effects of ACd lesions were investigated in two different training situations. Both tasks involved response selection but only one of the two tasks required behavioral sequencing. In experiment 1, rats with ACd lesions were normally able to select Go and No-Go responses, when selection processes were based on a tone/light conditional rule that does not require temporal patterning. In experiment 2, ACd-lesioned rats were disrupted during the acquisition of a spatial alternation task that relies on temporal patterning. These results provide further evidence of ACd involvement in behavioral sequencing, regardless of the nature (spatial or non-spatial) of chained responses. A comparison of ACd lesions-induced effects with those obtained with lesions to the adjacent prelimbic-infralimbic area 'Delatour & Gisquet-Verrier, Behav. Neurosci. 110 (1996) 1282; Delatour & Gisquet-Verrier, Behav. Neurosci. 113 (1999) 941' reveals a double dissociation of these two regions that reflects a functional regionalization of the medial prefrontal cortex in the rat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology*
  • Limbic System / physiology
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Motivation
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Serial Learning / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*