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Title: The prefrontal cortex is required for incidental encoding but not recollection of source information in rodents
Contributor(s): Parnell, Rebecca (author); Grasby, Katrina (author); Talk, Andrew  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2012.03.040
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Abstract: Lesion studies have suggested that the prefrontal cortex is involved in memory for contextual details surrounding the prior observation of objects or events, but it is unknown whether it is crucial for encoding details about the location at which cues are experienced, or for recall of that information. We used intracranial infusions of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol in rodents to directly assess the role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during incidental encoding and retrieval of information about the location of a cue during a spatial sensory preconditioning procedure. Rats experienced a single, discrete, sensory cue as they explored an open platform, and then were tested after a 24 h delay on recollection of the prior location of the cue. Activity in the mPFC was suppressed with muscimol during either encoding or retrieval of the information, with a control group receiving saline infusions before both phases. We found that mPFC suppression during the encoding phase blocked the formation of incidental memory about the cues but mPFC suppression during retrieval had no effect. Moreover, animals with suppressed frontal cortical activity in the encoding phase expressed smaller cue-directed orienting responses, indicating they attended less to the cue. These results suggest that the frontal cortex may be required to sustain attention to incidental cues in order to later recollect the location in which they have been previously experienced, but that once the location information is encoded the frontal cortex is not required for retrieval of that information.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Behavioural Brain Research, 232(1), p. 77-83
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: The Netherlands
ISSN: 0166-4328
Field of Research (FOR): 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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