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Perirhinal and Postrhinal Damage Have Different Consequences on Attention as Assessed in the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task.

Authors
  • Trettel, Sean G1
  • Agster, Kara L2
  • Burwell, Rebecca D1, 2
  • 1 Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Science, Brown University, Providence, RI, 02912 [email protected] [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, RI, 02912.
Type
Published Article
Journal
eneuro
Publisher
Society for Neuroscience
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
Volume
8
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0210-21.2021
PMID: 34475265
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The perirhinal (PER) and postrhinal (POR) cortices, structures in the medial temporal lobe, are implicated in learning and memory. The PER is understood to process object information and the POR to process spatial or contextual information. Whether the medial temporal lobe is dedicated to memory, however, is under debate. In this study, we addressed the hypothesis that the PER and POR are also involved in non-mnemonic cognitive functions. Rats with PER or POR damage and SHAM surgical controls were shaped, trained, and tested on the five-choice serial reaction time (5CSRT) task, which assesses attention and executive function. Rats with PER damage were impaired in acquiring the task and at asymptote, although processing information about objects was not relevant to the task. When confronted with attentional challenges, rats with PER damage showed a pattern consistent with decreased attentional capacity, increased response errors, and increased impulsive behavior. Rats with POR damage showed intact acquisition and normal asymptotic performance. They also exhibited faster latencies in the absence of speed accuracy trade-off suggesting enhanced response readiness. We suggest this increased response readiness results from decreased automatic monitoring of the local environment, which might normally compete with response readiness. Our findings are consistent with a role for PER in controlled attention and a role for POR in stimulus-driven attention providing evidence that the PER and POR cortices have functions that go beyond memory for objects and memory for scenes and contexts, respectively. These findings provide new evidence for functional specialization in the medial temporal lobe. Copyright © 2021 Trettel et al.

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