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Behav Neurosci. 2003 Oct;117(5):1054-65.

The contribution of the rat prelimbic-infralimbic areas to different forms of task switching.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1007 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60607, USA.


The experiments examined the effects of prelimbic-infralimbic inactivation in rats on the acquisition and reversal learning of different discrimination tasks: 2- or 4-choice odor discrimination in Experiments 1 and 2, the shift from 2-choice odor discrimination to 2-choice place discrimination in Experiment 3, and the shift from 2-choice place to 2-choice odor discrimination in Experiment 4. Infusions of 2% bupivacaine did not impair performance in the odor discrimination tests. Prelimbic-infralimbic inactivation did not impair acquisition but did impair the shift from an odor to a place discrimination and vice versa. Analysis of the errors revealed that the deficit was due to perseveration of the previously learned strategy. The selective deficits observed in the odor-place tests suggest that the prelimbic-infralimbic areas enable behavioral flexibility when conditions demand inhibiting the use of one type of attribute information and learning a new type of attribute information.

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