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Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Dec;40(12):3757-65. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12751. Epub 2014 Oct 27.

Unilateral medial frontal cortex lesions cause a cognitive decision-making deficit in rats.

Author information

1
Friedman Brain Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1470 Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10029, USA; Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UD, UK.

Abstract

The medial frontal cortex (MFC) is critical for cost-benefit decision-making. Generally, cognitive and reward-based behaviour in rodents is not thought to be lateralised within the brain. In this study, however, we demonstrate that rats with unilateral MFC lesions show a profound change in decision-making on an effort-based decision-making task. Furthermore, unilateral MFC lesions have a greater effect when the rat has to choose to put in more effort for a higher reward when it is on the contralateral side of space to the lesion. Importantly, this could not be explained by motor impairments as these animals did not show a turning bias in separate experiments. In contrast, rats with unilateral dopaminergic midbrain lesions did exhibit a motoric turning bias, but were unimpaired on the effort-based decision-making task. This rare example of a cognitive deficit caused by a unilateral cortical lesion in the rat brain indicates that the MFC may have a specialised and lateralised role in evaluating the costs and benefits of actions directed to specific spatial locations.

KEYWORDS:

T-maze; decision; lesion; neglect; rat

PMID:
25348059
PMCID:
PMC4440342
DOI:
10.1111/ejn.12751
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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