Comparison of interval timing behaviour in mice following dorsal or ventral hippocampal lesions with mice having δ-opioid receptor gene deletion.
Mice with cytotoxic lesions of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) underestimated 15 s and 45 s target durations in a bi-peak procedure as evidenced by proportional leftward shifts of the peak functions that emerged during training as a result of decreases in both 'start' and 'stop' times. In contrast, mice with lesions of the ventral hippocampus (VH) displayed rightward shifts that were immediately present and were largely limited to increases in the 'stop' time for the 45 s target duration. Moreover, the effects of the DH lesions were congruent with the scalar property of interval timing in that the 15 s and 45 s functions superimposed when plotted on a relative timescale, whereas the effects of the VH lesions violated the scalar property. Mice with DH lesions also showed enhanced reversal learning in comparison to control and VH lesioned mice. These results are compared with the timing distortions observed in mice lacking δ-opioid receptors (Oprd1(-/-)) which were similar to mice with DH lesions. Taken together, these results suggest a balance between hippocampal-striatal interactions for interval timing and demonstrate possible functional dissociations along the septotemporal axis of the hippocampus in terms of motivation, timed response thresholds and encoding in temporal memory.
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