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Electrolytic medial septal (MS) lesions, which depleted acetylcholinesterase staining in both dorsal and ventral hippocampus, produced a constellation of behaviors, combining aspects of both selective dorsal and ventral hippocampal lesion effects. MS lesions impaired spatial working memory on the T maze, thus resembling the effects of dorsal hippocampal lesions. In addition, MS lesions reduced anxiety during successive alleys (a modified form of the elevated plus-maze), social interaction, and hyponeophagia tests. MS lesions also reduced postshock freezing. These effects more closely resemble those of ventral hippocampal lesions. Therefore, the effects of electrolytic MS lesions derive from the resulting combined deafferentation of dorsal and ventral hippocampal regions, suggesting that previously reported effects of cytotoxic dorsal hippocampal lesions are unlikely to be due to a demyelination of fibers of passage coursing through the septal pole.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav Neurosci

Publication Date





1033 - 1041


Animals, Fear, Hippocampus, Interpersonal Relations, Male, Maze Learning, Rats, Septum of Brain