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Competing contextual processes rely on the infralimbic and prelimbic medial prefrontal cortices in the rat

George, David N., Killcross, Simon and Haddon, Josephine E. ORCID: 2023. Competing contextual processes rely on the infralimbic and prelimbic medial prefrontal cortices in the rat. Oxford Open Neuroscience 2 , kvad003. 10.1093/oons/kvad003

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Ambiguous relationships between events may be established using interference procedures such as latent inhibition, extinction or counterconditioning. Under these conditions, the retrieval of individual associations between a stimulus and outcome is affected by contextual cues. To examine the roles of the dorsal (prelimbic) and ventral (infralimbic) medial prefrontal cortex in the contextual modulation of such associations, we investigated the context specificity of latent inhibition. Male Lister hooded rats were pre-exposed to two separate stimuli, one in each of two distinct contexts. Both stimuli were then paired with the delivery of mild foot-shock in the same one of these contexts. Finally, the strength of the resultant conditioned emotional response (CER) to each stimulus was assessed in each context. For the sham-operated control rats, the CER was attenuated for each stimulus when it was tested in the context in which it had been pre-exposed. Rats who had received lesions to the infralimbic cortex showed this effect only in the conditioning context, whereas rats with lesions to the prelimbic cortex showed the effect only in the context in which conditioning had not taken place. These findings indicate that infralimbic and prelimbic cortices play distinct, and competing, roles in the contextual modulation of initial and later learning.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 2753-149X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 June 2023
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 18:20

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