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Behav Neurosci. 2000 Feb;114(1):3-17.

The effect of dopamine depletion from the caudate nucleus of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) on tests of prefrontal cognitive function.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


This study examined the effects of depletion of dopamine from the caudate nucleus of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), on tasks sensitive to prefrontal damage (attentional set-shifting and spatial delayed response). There was a marked impairment in performance on the spatial delayed response task, but performance on the attentional set-shifting task was relatively preserved except for an impairment in re-engagement of a previously relevant perceptual dimension. This pattern of impairment is distinct from that seen after excitotoxic lesions of the prefrontal cortex and in patients with Parkinson's disease. Though it is not possible to identify specific cognitive functions that are independent of dopaminergic modulation of the caudate nucleus, due to the partial nature of the lesion, the results do provide insight into those cognitive processes that appear most dependent on caudate dopamine.

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