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The contribution that components of the hippocampal system in the rat make to the modulation of attention or stimulus processing was assessed using several simple behavioural assays: the orienting response (OR) to a novel stimulus, the subsequent habituation and dishabituation of this OR, and the latent inhibition effect that typically results from repeated exposure to a stimulus. Excitotoxic lesions of components of the hippocampal system produce dissociable effects on the OR, habituation and latent inhibition: lesions of the entorhinal cortex have no effect on the OR or changes in the OR during exposure to a stimulus, but disrupt latent inhibition; lesions of the subiculum disrupt the OR but not latent inhibition; and lesions of the hippocampus disrupt the OR and latent inhibition. These effects have important implications for our understanding of habituation and latent inhibition, and the neural mechanisms involved in attentional modulation.


Journal article


Eur J Neurosci

Publication Date





1983 - 1990


Animals, Attention, Behavior, Animal, Conditioning (Psychology), Cues, Denervation, Entorhinal Cortex, Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists, Habituation, Psychophysiologic, Hippocampus, Male, N-Methylaspartate, Neural Inhibition, Orientation, Photic Stimulation, Rats, Rats, Inbred Strains, Reaction Time, Visual Perception