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Behav Neurosci. 1999 Feb;113(1):32-41.

Involvement of rodent prefrontal cortex subregions in strategy switching.

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Department of Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112, USA.


The present study examined whether inactivation of the prelimbic-infralimbic areas or the dorsal anterior cingulate area impairs strategy switching in the cheeseboard task. After implantation of a cannula aimed at either the prelimbic-infralimbic or dorsal anterior cingulate areas, all rats were tested in a spatial and a visual-cued version of the task. Some of the rats received the spatial version first, followed by the visual-cued version. The procedure for the other rats was reversed. Infusions of 2% tetracaine into the prelimbic-infralimbic or dorsal anterior cingulate areas did not impair acquisition of the spatial or visual-cued versions. However, inactivation of the prelimbic-infralimbic areas, but not the dorsal anterior cingulate area, impaired learning when rats were switched from one version to the other. These findings suggest that the prelimbic-infralimbic areas are involved in switching to new behavior-guiding strategies.

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