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Learn Mem. 1999 Jul-Aug;6(4):347-62.

Bilateral ablation of auditory cortex in Mongolian gerbil affects discrimination of frequency modulated tones but not of pure tones.

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1
Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany.

Abstract

This study examines the role of auditory cortex in the Mongolian gerbil in differential conditioning to pure tones and to linearly frequency-modulated (FM) tones by analyzing the effects of bilateral auditory cortex ablation. Learning behavior and performance were studied in a GO/NO-GO task aiming at avoidance of a mild foot shock by crossing a hurdle in a two-way shuttle box. Hurdle crossing as the conditioned response to the reinforced stimulus (CR+), as false alarm in response to the unreinforced stimulus (CR-), intertrial activity, and reaction times were monitored. The analysis revealed no effects of lesion on pure tone discrimination but impairment of FM tone discrimination. In the latter case lesion effects were dependent on timing of lesion relative to FM tone discrimination training. Lesions before training in naive animals led to a reduced CR+ rate and had no effect on CR- rate. Lesions in pretrained animals led to an increased CR- rate without effects on the CR+ rate. The results suggest that auditory cortex plays a more critical role in discrimination of FM tones than in discrimination of pure tones. The different lesion effects on FM tone discrimination before and after training are compatible with both the hypothesis of a purely sensory deficit in FM tone processing and the hypothesis of a differential involvement of auditory cortex in acquisition and retention, respectively.

PMID:
10509706
PMCID:
PMC311295
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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