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Behav Brain Res. 1991 Jan 31;42(1):67-75.

Comparison of the effects of neonatal and adult medial prefrontal cortex lesions on food hoarding and spatial delayed alternation.

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  • 1Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Amsterdam.


Performance in food hoarding, a species-typical task, and spatial delayed alternation, a learning task, was investigated in male rats with bilateral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) lesions sustained in adulthood or at the age of 6 days. Animals with adult mPFC lesions hoarded significantly fewer food pellets than their controls. The mPFC lesion effect on hoarding behaviour of the neonatally operated rats was unclear because of the unexpectedly low hoarding score of their controls. In the spatial delayed alternation task, the animals with mPFC lesions in adulthood exhibited a permanent deficit, while the animals with neonatal mPFC lesions showed no significant deficits. It is concluded that a bilateral lesion in adulthood, mainly affecting the frontal area 2 and the dorsal anterior cingulate area of the mPFC, results in a permanent deficit in food hoarding and spatial delayed alternation performance, whereas a similarly restricted mPFC lesion at the age of 6 days shows a complete sparing of the spatial delayed alternation task performance.

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