The effects of prelimbic and infralimbic lesions on working memory for visual objects in rats

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2002 Jan;77(1):29-43. doi: 10.1006/nlme.2001.4003.


The present experiment investigated the effects of quinolinic acid (90 mM) lesions of the prelimbic-infralimbic cortices on working memory for visual objects and on acquisition of a visual object discrimination. In both tests a GO/NO-GO procedure was used. In the working memory task, rats were tested before and after surgery. A continuous recognition procedure was used to assess working memory, which involved successive exposure to different three-dimensional objects that could be displaced to receive a cereal reinforcement. Of the 12 object presentations/session, 4 objects were presented for a second time in which displacing the object did not result in a reinforcement. The number of trials between the first and second presentations of an object ranged from 0 to 3 (lags). Memory was assessed by the latency to displace an object during the second presentation. In the visual object discrimination, rats had successive exposure to two different objects. Displacement of one object resulted in a cereal reinforcement, while displacement of the other did not. The findings indicated that prelimbic-infralimbic lesions significantly impaired memory for visual objects across all lags. Prelimbic-infralimbic lesions did not impair acquisition of the visual object discrimination. The results suggest that the prelimbic-infralimbic areas are part of neural system important in the short-term memory for visual objects.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Limbic System / physiopathology*
  • Limbic System / surgery*
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*