Effect of post-training unilateral labyrinthectomy in a spatial orientation task by guinea pigs

Behav Brain Res. 1992 Nov 15;51(2):115-26. doi: 10.1016/s0166-4328(05)80205-0.


The effects of unilateral labyrinthectomy in guinea pigs have been studied on an angular orientation task consisting, in an open field, of running to a hidden goal oriented at 45 degrees with respect to the cephalocaudal axis of the animal placed in a starting-box. The task was conducted in light but in an homogeneous environment, i.e. without visual, auditory or olfactory cues indicating the location of the goal. A second group of animals was submitted to a similar task running to a hidden goal but the place of the goal was indicated by a colored card. All the animals were trained before the lesion and tested in their respective task for 1 month after the lesion. In the task conducted without conspicuous cues, animals were dramatically disturbed. In contrast, animals pretrained in the visually guided task were not impaired after the lesion. These results point out the important role of vestibular information in performing spatial tasks based on angular estimation, since, even if proprioceptive and visuokinesthetic information remain available, subjects seemed not able to maintain a correct angular trajectory. The trajectories being not disturbed in the visually guided task, one can exclude the hypothesis that such deficit was due to a purely motor disturbance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Appetitive Behavior / physiology
  • Attention / physiology
  • Cues
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Ear, Inner / physiology*
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Reflex, Vestibulo-Ocular / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology