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      Medial Frontal Cortex Mediates Perceptual Attentional Set Shifting in the Rat

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          Abstract

          If rodents do not display the behavioral complexity that is subserved in primates by prefrontal cortex, then evolution of prefrontal cortex in the rat should be doubted. Primate prefrontal cortex has been shown to mediate shifts in attention between perceptual dimensions of complex stimuli. This study examined the possibility that medial frontal cortex of the rat is involved in the shifting of perceptual attentional set. We trained rats to perform an attentional set-shifting task that is formally the same as a task used in monkeys and humans. Rats were trained to dig in bowls for a food reward. The bowls were presented in pairs, only one of which was baited. The rat had to select the bowl in which to dig by its odor, the medium that filled the bowl, or the texture that covered its surface. In a single session, rats performed a series of discriminations, including reversals, an intradimensional shift, and an extradimensional shift.

          Bilateral lesions by injection of ibotenic acid in medial frontal cortex resulted in impairment in neither initial acquisition nor reversal learning. We report here the same selective impairment in shifting of attentional set in the rat as seen in primates with lesions of prefrontal cortex. We conclude that medial frontal cortex of the rat has functional similarity to primate lateral prefrontal cortex.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Neurosci
          J. Neurosci
          jneuro
          jneurosci
          J. Neurosci
          The Journal of Neuroscience
          Society for Neuroscience
          0270-6474
          1529-2401
          1 June 2000
          : 20
          : 11
          : 4320-4324
          Affiliations
          [ 1 ]School of Psychology, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews KY16 9JU, Scotland, United Kingdom
          Article
          PMC6772641 PMC6772641 6772641 4205
          10.1523/JNEUROSCI.20-11-04320.2000
          6772641
          10818167
          3122fd86-251f-440a-a70b-ee47dcabeed0
          Copyright © 2000 Society for Neuroscience
          Categories
          ARTICLE
          Behavioral/Systems
          Custom metadata
          5.00

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