Stimulation of rat medial or sulcal prefontal cortex during passive avoidance learning selectively influences retention performance

Rebecca M. Santos-Anderson*, Aryeh Routtenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Low-level unilateral electrical stimulation was delivered during passive avoidance learning through a bipolar electrode to the prefrontal cortex of the adult albino rat. No brain stimulation was applied during a retention test measured 24 h later. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex stimulation produced retention impairment over and above that observed with chronic electrode implantation. Sulcal cortex stimulation, in contrast, actually attenuated the retention deficit produced by chronic implantation in the sulcal cortex. Stimulation of an afferent common to both prefrontal regions, the dorsomedial thalamus, resulted in retention disruption, but stimulation of another common afferent, the locus coeruleus, did not. Acquisition of the inhibitory response was not affected by stimulation of any of the above brain regions. The present results demonstrate, again, that the functional role in memory of particular brain regions can be dissected by low-level electrical stimulation. The functional separation of rat sulcal and medial cortices revealed by the effects of stimulation suggests that these prefrontal subfields subserve different functions in the information storage process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-259
Number of pages17
JournalBrain research
Volume103
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 20 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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