Excitotoxic lesions of the rhinal cortex in the baboon differentially affect visual recognition memory, habit memory and spatial executive functions

Chantal Chavoix, X. Blaizot, K. Meguro, B. Landeau, J. C. Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To specify the functional role of the rhinal cortex, baboons with bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the rhinal cortex (RH group) were tested on a series of computerized memory and learning tasks. Preoperatively, they were trained to and then tested on a delayed nonmatching-to-sample (DNMS) task with trial-unique stimuli. Postoperatively, this visual recognition memory task was given twice. As compared to a sham-operated group, the RH group showed good retention of rule learning and were unimpaired on the Delay memory subtest. Performance on the List Length memory subtest was, however, severely impaired at both postoperative evaluations, with a significant negative correlation between cognitive performance and neuronal loss in rhinal areas. Visual habit memory and spatial working memory were assessed postoperatively only, using a concurrent discrimination learning task and both a delayed-response task (with a two- and four-location choice) and a delayed alternation task, respectively. The RH group was unimpaired on the first two tasks and was even faster than the controls in learning the delayed-response task with four locations. Finally, most RH baboons failed to learn the delayed alternation task within the limits of testing. These results indicate that neuronal loss in the rhinal cortex is sufficient to impair visual recognition memory, and extend the implication of this area to spatial executive functions. Furthermore, the observation of impaired recognition memory and executive processes with preserved procedural memory and retrograde memory suggests that damage to the rhinal cortex probably participates in the cognitive deficits typical of the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1225-1236
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume15
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Dec 28

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Entorhinal cortex
  • Learning
  • Perirhinal cortex
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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