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J Neurosci. 2002 Aug 1;22(15):6756-65.

A double dissociation within striatum between serial reaction time and radial maze delayed nonmatching performance in rats.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire 03824, USA.


Lesions involving the intralaminar thalamic nuclei have been associated with impairments in working memory and intentional motor function in human clinical cases and animal models of amnesia. The intralaminar nuclei have afferent and efferent connections related to striatum. To test whether disruption of striatal function can account for impairments produced by intralaminar lesions, we investigated the effects of striatal lesions on two tasks known to be impaired by intralaminar damage in the rat: radial maze delayed nonmatching (DNM), a measure of spatial working memory, and self-paced serial reaction time (SRT), a measure of intentional response speed. We compared the effects of lesions in four sites: the medial and lateral caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, and olfactory tubercle. We found that lesions of the medial, accumbens, or tubercle sites impaired DNM performance, and that lesions of the lateral caudate putamen increased choice response time for the SRT task. There was a double dissociation between the effects of the ventral and the lateral lesions on these two tasks. For both tasks, the effects of striatal lesions were qualitatively similar and at least as large as intralaminar lesions in previous studies. These results provide evidence that striatal dysfunction can account for the DNM and SRT impairments produced by intralaminar lesions. The dissociation of functional impairments suggests that lateral sensorimotor areas of caudate putamen are important for responding based on external sensory stimuli and limbic-related areas in ventral striatum are important for responding based on information held in working memory.

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