Dissociation of the effects of bilateral lesions of the dorsal hippocampus and parietal cortex on path integration in the rat

Behav Neurosci. 2001 Dec;115(6):1212-23. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.115.6.1212.


Rodents are able to rely on self-motion (idiothetic) cues and navigate toward a reference place by path integration. The authors tested the effects of dorsal hippocampal and parietal lesions in a homing task to dissociate the respective roles of the hippocampus and the parietal cortex in path integration. Hippocampal rats exhibited a strong deficit in learning the basic task. Parietal rats displayed a performance impairment as a function of the complexity of their outward paths when the food was placed at varying locations. These results suggest that the parietal cortex plays a specific role in path integration and in the processing of idiothetic information, whereas the hippocampus is involved in the calibration of space used by the path integration system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Exploratory Behavior
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe / pathology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis