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J Neurosci Res. 1975;1(3-4):185-205.

Comparison of visual and tactile learning in octopus after lesions to one of the two memory systems.


Sets of animals with lesions to either the vertical lobe or median inferior frontal lobe were trained first visually and then by touch. Lesions of the vertical lobe system did not affect the increase produced by food in tendency to attack a moving figure in the visual field. Any lesion that interrupted the circuit through the vertical lobe greatly impaired the capacity to inhibit attacks on crabs when these attacks resulted in shocks. Removal of the median inferior frontal lobe did not impair this capacity to learn not to attack a crab in the octopus's visual field. The capacity to learn to respond positively to a black disc but to avoid a white one was grossly impaired by an interruption of the vertical lobe circuit. After such operations the animals showed a strong preference for white over black. The capacity to learn to discriminate between black and white was not affected by removal of the median inferior frontal lobe. Animals with interruptions of the vertical lobe circuit could learn to make discrimination between white as a positive figure and black as a negative one, but they made more mistakes than controls. Most mistakes consisted of attacks on the negative (black) figure, but there were also some failures to attack the white. In tactile discrimination between rough and smooth spheres given successively, animals with vertical lobe lesions were, under some circumstances, less accurate than controls. They took more objects than controls. They were less able than controls to reverse the the discrimination. After removal of the median inferior frontal lobe tactile discrimination was greatly impaired. The animals showed a strong preference for rough objects and could not learn to take smooth objects. However, they showed improvement in discrimination when trained with smooth negative and are therefore not wholly incapable of long-term memory storage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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