Monkey׳s short-term auditory memory nearly abolished by combined removal of the rostral superior temporal gyrus and rhinal cortices
Fritz, J.B.; Malloy, M.; Mishkin, M.; Saunders, R.C.
Brain Research 1640(Part B): 289-298
ISSN/ISBN: 1872-6240 PMID: 26707975 DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.12.012
While monkeys easily acquire the rules for performing visual and tactile delayed matching-to-sample, a method for testing recognition memory, they have extraordinary difficulty acquiring a similar rule in audition. Another striking difference between the modalities is that whereas bilateral ablation of the rhinal cortex (RhC) leads to profound impairment in visual and tactile recognition, the same lesion has no detectable effect on auditory recognition memory (Fritz et al., 2005). In our previous study, a mild impairment in auditory memory was obtained following bilateral ablation of the entire medial temporal lobe (MTL), including the RhC, and an equally mild effect was observed after bilateral ablation of the auditory cortical areas in the rostral superior temporal gyrus (rSTG). In order to test the hypothesis that each of these mild impairments was due to partial disconnection of acoustic input to a common target (e.g., the ventromedial prefrontal cortex), in the current study we examined the effects of a more complete auditory disconnection of this common target by combining the removals of both the rSTG and the MTL. We found that the combined lesion led to forgetting thresholds (performance at 75% accuracy) that fell precipitously from the normal retention duration of ~30 to 40s to a duration of ~1 to 2s, thus nearly abolishing auditory recognition memory, and leaving behind only a residual echoic memory. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory.