The role of the hippocampus in object recognition in rats: Examination of the influence of task parameters and lesion size

James Alexander Ainge, C Heron-Maxwell, P Theofilas, P Wright, L de Hoz, ER Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies examining the effects of hippocampal lesions oil object recognition memory in rats have produced conflicting results. The present Study investigated how methodological differences and lesion size may have contributed to these discrepancies. In Experiment 1 we compared rats with complete, partial (septal) and sham hippocampal lesions oil a spontaneous object recognition task, using a protocol previously reported to result in deficits following large hippocampal lesions [10]. Rats with complete and partial hippocampal lesions were unimpaired, suggesting the hippocampus is not required for object recognition memory. However, rats with partial lesions showed relatively poor performance raising the possibility that floor effects masked a deficit oil this group. In Experiment 2 we used a second spontaneous object recognition protocol similar to that used by the two other studies that have reported deficits following hippocampal lesions [6.26]. Rats with complete hippocampal lesions were significantly impaired, whereas rats with partial lesions were unimpaired. However, the complete lesion group showed less object exploration during the sample phase. Thus, the apparent recognition memory deficit ill Experiment 2 may be attributable to differential encoding. Together, these findings suggest that the hippocampus is not required for intact spontaneous object recognition memory. These findings suggest that levels of object exploration during the sample phase may be a critical issue, and raise the possibility that previous reports of object recognition deficits may be due to differences in object exploration rather than deficits in object recognition per se. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-195
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume167
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2006

Keywords

  • recognition memory
  • hippocampus
  • non-spatial
  • learning
  • object exploration
  • rat
  • LASTING MEMORY IMPAIRMENT
  • MEDIAL TEMPORAL-LOBE
  • PERIRHINAL CORTEX
  • VISUAL RECOGNITION
  • NEUROTOXIC LESIONS
  • FORNIX TRANSECTION
  • RHINAL CORTEX
  • POSTRHINAL CORTEX
  • RHESUS-MONKEYS
  • SPATIAL MEMORY

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