Prelimbic cortex specific lesions disrupt delayed-variable response tasks in the rat

Behav Neurosci. 1996 Dec;110(6):1282-98. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.110.6.1282.


The role of the prelimbic cortex (PL) in rats was investigated with excitotoxic lesions. PL lesions altered the alternation scores in spontaneous and reinforced spatial delayed-alternation tasks. PL lesions induced a delay in conditioning under a temporal go/no-go alternation schedule but not under a continuous food-reinforcement schedule in a runway. PL lesions had no effect on the acquisition of a standard radial-arm-maze task nor on a fixed-goal location task but disrupted the acquisition of a variable-goal location task in a radial-arm maze. The present results indicate that PL lesions replicated most of the behavioral deficits obtained with larger prefrontal lesions. PL lesions disrupted the acquisition of delayed-variable response tasks while leaving unaffected fixed-response tasks. These results are discussed in relation with a working-memory, a response-selection, and an attentional hypothesis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology*
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Limbic System / physiology*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reinforcement Schedule
  • Space Perception / physiology