Monkeys with combined amygdalo-hippocampal lesions succeed in object discrimination learning despite 24-hour intertrial intervals

Behav Neurosci. 1984 Oct;98(5):759-69. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.98.5.759.


Monkeys with combined amygdalo-hippocampal removal show severe impairments on visual memory tasks after delays of only a minute or two, yet they learn visual discrimination habits about as quickly as normal animals with intertrial intervals of the same duration. In an attempt to resolve this discrepancy between abnormally rapid forgetting and successful retention, tests were conducted to determine whether discrimination learning would be prevented in animals with limbic lesions if intertrial intervals lasted 24 hr. The results showed that as long as the lesion did not encroach on inferior temporal cortex, the operated animals could acquire concurrent sets of 20 object discrimination habits at the same rate as normal animals, in an average of about 10 trials per set. The findings suggest that learning and retention processes are divisible into a mechanism for memory formation that is dependent on the limbic system and a mechanism for habit formation that is not.

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Association
  • Brain Mapping
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Retention, Psychology / physiology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology