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Behav Neurosci. 1997 Oct;111(5):908-19.

Dissociable effects of cingulate and medial frontal cortex lesions on stimulus-reward learning using a novel Pavlovian autoshaping procedure for the rat: implications for the neurobiology of emotion.

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Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, England.


The effects of quinolinic acid-induced lesions of the anterior cingulate, posterior cingulate, and medial frontal cortices on stimulus-reward learning were investigated with a novel Pavlovian autoshaping procedure in an apparatus allowing the automated presentation of computer-graphic stimuli to rats (T. J. Bussey, J. L. Muir, & T. W. Robbins, 1994). White vertical rectangles were presented on the left or the right of a computer screen. One of these conditioned stimuli (the CS+) was always followed by the presentation of a sucrose pellet; the other, the CS-, was never followed by reward. With training, rats came to approach the CS+ more often than the CS-. Anterior cingulate cortex-lesioned rats failed to demonstrate normal discriminated approach, making significantly more approaches to the CS- than did sham-operated controls. Medial frontal cortex-lesioned rats acquired the task normally but had longer overall approach latencies. Posterior cingulate cortex lesions did not affect acquisition.

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