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Novel behavioral assays were used to assess the role of the entorhinal cortex in modulating attention to components of stimulus compounds. In Stage 1, rats received discrimination training with compounds constructed from 3 dimensions (auditory, visual, and tactile); in each compound the combination of components from 2 dimensions (e.g., auditory and visual) were relevant to the solution of the discrimination, and the remaining dimension (e.g., tactile) was irrelevant. In Stage 2, rats received a different discrimination in which the relevant dimensions were either congruent (auditory and visual) or incongruent (auditory and tactile) with those that were relevant in Stage 1. Sham-operated rats acquired the congruent discrimination more rapidly than the incongruent discrimination--a finding indicative of a process of attentional modulation--whereas rats with excitotoxic lesions of the entorhinal cortex acquired both discriminations equally readily.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Behav Neurosci

Publication Date

08/2001

Volume

115

Pages

841 - 849

Keywords

Animals, Attention, Conditioning, Operant, Discrimination (Psychology), Entorhinal Cortex, Inhibition (Psychology), Male, Rats