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Exp Brain Res. 2004 Dec;159(3):349-59. Epub 2004 Jun 26.

Evidence for entorhinal and parietal cortices involvement in path integration in the rat.

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Laboratory of Neurobiology and Cognition, CNRS-Université de Provence, 31 chemin Joseph-Aiguier, 13402 Marseille Cedex 20, France.


Rats with lesions of the entorhinal or parietal cortex were tested in a homing task on a circular platform containing food cups and surrounded by curtains. The animals had to leave a refuge, explore the platform to find a hidden piece of food and carry it back to the refuge. Once the rats were proficient at performing the procedural aspects of the task, they were tested in two successive types of trials in which the food pellet was either always located in the central cup (food at center, "FAC" trials) or placed in a randomly chosen cup (food at random, "FAR" trials). Except in the first FAC trials, all groups displayed similar outward paths in FAC and FAR trials, showing that both types of trials involved equivalent path integration demand. Analysis of the homing accuracy showed that rats with entorhinal cortex or parietal cortex lesions exhibited inaccurate returns to the starting hole, suggesting that these two cortical areas are part of a neural network mediating path integration.

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