Document Detail

The anterior thalamus is critical for overcoming interference in a context-dependent odor discrimination task.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23025833     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The anterior thalamus (AT) is anatomically interconnected with the hippocampus and other structures known to be involved in memory, and the AT is involved in many of the same learning and memory functions as the hippocampus. For example, like the hippocampus, the AT is involved in spatial cognition and episodic memory. The hippocampus also has a well-documented role in contextual memory processes, but it is not known whether the AT is similarly involved in contextual memory. In the present study, we assessed the role of the AT in contextual memory processes by temporarily inactivating the AT and training rats on a recently developed context-based olfactory list learning task, which was designed to assess the use of contextual information to resolve interference. Rats were trained on one list of odor discrimination problems, followed by training on a second list in either the same context or a different context. In order to induce interference, some of the odors appeared on both lists with their predictive value reversed. Control rats that learned the two lists in different contexts performed significantly better than rats that learned the two lists in the same context. However, AT lesions completely abolished this contextual learning advantage, a result that is very similar to the effects of hippocampal inactivation. These findings demonstrate that the AT, like the hippocampus, is involved in contextual memory and suggest that the hippocampus and AT are part of a functional circuit involved in contextual memory.
L Matthew Law; David M Smith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioral neuroscience     Volume:  126     ISSN:  1939-0084     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-02     Completed Date:  2013-03-14     Revised Date:  2013-10-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8302411     Medline TA:  Behav Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  710-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.
Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Anterior Thalamic Nuclei / drug effects,  physiology*
Discrimination Learning / drug effects,  physiology*
GABA-A Receptor Agonists / pharmacology
Hippocampus / drug effects,  physiology*
Muscimol / pharmacology
Olfactory Perception / drug effects,  physiology*
Rats, Long-Evans
Smell / drug effects,  physiology
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/GABA-A Receptor Agonists; 2763-96-4/Muscimol

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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