Perinatal Decortication Impairs Performance on an 8-arm Radial Maze Task
Psychophysiology and Behavior
Two experiments evaluate the role of the neocortex in rodent spatial learning. In Experiment 1, perinatally decorticated rats and sham-operated controls began ten training sessions at day 200 on an 8-arm radial maze. Decorticated rats made more errors than controls, but showed improvement by the tenth session. In the second experiment, training was extended to determine whether decorticates could eventually match control performance levels if given sufficient training. Spontaneous activity levels were also recorded and compared to maze performance to investigate the relationship between poor performance on the radial maze and activity. More than half of the decorticates reached criterion performance. Decorticates had significantly elevated spontaneous activity levels when compared to controls, and the magnitude of this hyperactivity was related to performance deficits on the radial maze. These results suggest that with extended training decorticates can learn a spatial task. Performance deficits may reflect the hyperactive tendency of decorticates rather than a specific impairment of spatial learning abilities.
R A. Deyo, J Panksepp, and Bruce B. Abbott (1990).
Perinatal Decortication Impairs Performance on an 8-arm Radial Maze Task. Psychophysiology and Behavior.48 (1), 55-60.