Dissociable effects of frontal cortical lesions on measures of visuospatial attention and spatial working memory in the rat.

Academic Article


  • Frontal cortex controls voluntary movement through projections to striatum that continue as parallel pallido-thalamic loops. In previous studies we found evidence of a double dissociation in rat striatum between visuospatial response time (RT) and radial maze delayed non-matching (DNM) tasks. Here we compare the effects of frontal cortical lesions on these tasks. We found that lesions involving sensorimotor areas in dorsolateral cortex affect RT for responding to visuospatial stimuli without affecting other measures of response speed or producing signs of attentional or sensory impairment. These deficits were equivalent to impairments observed with lesions in sensorimotor areas of dorsolateral striatum. Dorsal prefrontal lesions produced RT deficits indicative of attentional impairment that have not been observed with striatal or thalamic lesions. This suggests contributions of prefrontal cortex to attention independent of striatum and thalamus. Prefrontal lesions had significant but circumscribed effects on DNM consistent with effects of lesions in anatomically related areas of striatum or thalamus observed in earlier studies. These results are consistent with evidence implicating prefrontal cortex in aspects of spatial memory mediated by anatomically related pathways in the basal ganglia and thalamus.
  • Authors

  • Bailey, KR
  • Mair, Robert
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2004
  • Published In

  • Cerebral Cortex  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Animals
  • Attention
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Reaction Time
  • Spatial Behavior
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 15084497
  • Start Page

  • 974
  • End Page

  • 985
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 9