Section 10
Chapter 9,006

Medial prefrontal cortex lesions and spatial delayed alternation in the developing rat: recovery or sparing?

Freeman, J.H.; Stanton, M.E.

Behavioral Neuroscience 106(6): 924-932


ISSN/ISBN: 0735-7044
PMID: 1472294
DOI: 10.1037/0735-7044.106.6.924
Accession: 009005772

In Experiment 1, Long-Evans rat pups received medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) aspirations or sham surgery on Postnatal Day 10 (PND10) and were then trained on PND23 to perform one of two T-maze tasks: discrete-trials delayed alternation (DA) or simple position discrimination. Early PFC damage produced a selective failure to learn the DA task. In Experiment 2, pups given the same lesion or sham surgery were trained on DA on PND19, PND27, or PND33. In relation to sham-operated controls, pups with PFC damage were impaired on PND19, somewhat impaired on PND27, and entirely unimpaired when tested on PND33. In Experiment 3, pups given larger lesions of the frontal cortex on PND10 were impaired on DA when tested on PND23 but not when tested on PND33. These findings indicate that early PFC lesions result in a memory deficit around the time of weaning, which then recovers over the next 10-14 days of development. Moreover, the early deficit is selective for a late developing cognitive process (or processes) that is involved in acquisition of DA.

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