To clarify the specific contribution of the medial temporal lobe structures in spatial memory, we tested monkeys (Macaca mulatta) with sham operations and with lesions of either the hippocampal formation, areas TH/TF or perirhinal cortex on two versions of the visual-paired comparison task, measuring Spatial Location, and Object-in-Place associations. In the Spatial Location version, the comparison was between two identical objects presented simultaneously in a familiar and a novel location. In the Object-in-Place version, the comparison was between an image consisting of five objects and another image showing the same five objects, but with the position of 2, 3, or 4 of the objects rearranged. Finally, a VPC-Control task was given to animals with hippocampal and perirhinal lesions, in which the comparison was between an image consisting of five objects and another image showing four of the five familiar objects and a new one. Perirhinal lesions yielded no deficit in the Spatial Location task and a deficit in the Object-in-Place task associated with a deficit in the VPC-control task, suggesting that this cortical area does not participate in spatial memory unless the stimuli have overlapping features. Areas TH/TF lesions produced a deficit in both Spatial Location and Object-in-Place tasks, whereas the hippocampal lesions resulted in a deficit of Object-in-Place associations only. The data showed that the hippocampal formation, areas TH/TF, and perirhinal cortex appear to contribute interactively to object and spatial memory processes.
2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.