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Behav Neurosci. 2001 Dec;115(6):1212-23.

Dissociation of the effects of bilateral lesions of the dorsal hippocampus and parietal cortex on path integration in the rat.

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Centre de Recherche en Neurosciences Cognitives, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Marseilles, France.


Rodents are able to rely on self-motion (idiothetic) cues and navigate toward a reference place by path integration. The authors tested the effects of dorsal hippocampal and parietal lesions in a homing task to dissociate the respective roles of the hippocampus and the parietal cortex in path integration. Hippocampal rats exhibited a strong deficit in learning the basic task. Parietal rats displayed a performance impairment as a function of the complexity of their outward paths when the food was placed at varying locations. These results suggest that the parietal cortex plays a specific role in path integration and in the processing of idiothetic information, whereas the hippocampus is involved in the calibration of space used by the path integration system.

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