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Medial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions Abolish Contextual Control of Competing Responses

Haddon, Josephine Elizabeth and Killcross, Andrew Simon 2005. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions Abolish Contextual Control of Competing Responses. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 84 (3) , pp. 485-504. 10.1901/jeab.2005.81-04

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There is much debate as to the extent and nature of functional specialization within the different subregions of the prefrontal cortex. The current study was undertaken to investigate the effect of damage to medial prefrontal cortex subregions in the rat. Rats were trained on two biconditional discrimination tasks, one auditory and one visual, in two different contexts. At test, they received presentations of audiovisual compounds of these training stimuli in extinction. These compounds had dictated either the same (congruent trials) or different (incongruent trials) responses during training. In sham-operated controls, contextual cues came to control responding to conflicting information provided by incongruent stimulus compounds. Experiment 1 demonstrated that this contextual control of responding was not evident in individual rats with large amounts of damage that included the prelimbic and cingulate subregions of the prefrontal cortex. Experiment 2 further dissociated the result of Experiment 1, demonstrating that lesions specific to the anterior cingulate cortex were sufficient to produce a deficit early on during presentation of an incongruent stimulus compound but that performance was unimpaired as presentation progressed. This early deficit suggests a role for the anterior cingulate cortex in the detection of response conflict, and for the medial prefrontal cortex in the contextual control of competing responses, providing evidence for functional specialization within the rat prefrontal cortex.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: prefrontal cortex, Stroop, conditional discrimination, response conflict, lever press, rat
Publisher: Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
ISSN: 0022-5002
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:08

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