Differential involvement of anterior and posterior cingulate cortices in spatial discriminative learning in a T-maze in mice.

Article date: 1991/8/29

PubMed ID: 1751004

Journal name: Behavioural brain research (ISSN: 0166-4328)


The contribution of the anterior and posterior cingulate cortical areas to spatial learning and memory was examined in mice using a behavioral paradigm based on a spatial discrimination task in a T-maze. Multiple injections of small amounts of ibotenic acid were used to produce fiber-sparing lesions of either the anterior (ACC) or the posterior (PCC) cingulate area. Mice with ACC lesions, though learning the initial acquisition and first reversal of the discrimination at about the normal rate, were impaired during the subsequent four reversal sessions. In contrast to control mice, they failed to improve their performance from the first to the last session. Nevertheless, when later required to repeatedly learn the same discrimination over several days (repetitive testing), animals with ACC lesions no longer exhibited any learning deficit. The converse pattern of results was found in mice with PCC lesions. These animals performed much more poorly than control animals during the acquisition and first reversal of the discrimination, but displayed remarkable improvement over the subsequent four reversal sessions, gradually overcoming their initial impairment. However, when later submitted to repetitive testing, these animals again showed a substantial learning deficit. Neither ACC nor PCC cingulate lesions significantly affected the animals' retention capacities as measured by single test-trials over a 24-h interval. Yet, mice with PCC lesions were retarded in reversal learning after a long intersession interval (10 days), indicating that PCC, but not ACC, lesions did interfere with some long-term retention processes. These results imply that the ACC, as a part of the medial frontal cortex, may play a crucial role in temporally ordering a series of spatial responses, whereas the PCC seems to contribute to the formation and retention of each individual spatial response, probably by transmitting information from limbic structures such as the anterior thalamus and hippocampal formation to posterior neocortical association areas.

Author List: Meunier M, Jaffard R, Destrade C

Publication Types: Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Substances mentioned in the article: Ibotenic Acid;

Mesh terms: Adaptation, Psychological/drug effects; Animals; Cerebral Cortex/anatomy & histology; Discrimination (Psychology)/drug effects; Discrimination Learning/physiology; Food Deprivation/physiology; Ibotenic Acid/toxicity; Mice; Mice, Inbred BALB C; Reversal Learning/physiology; Space Perception/physiology; Stereotaxic Techniques;

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