Nucleus basalis magnocellularis and medial septal area lesions differentially impair temporal memory.
Functional dissociations between the medial septal area (MSA) and the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM) were examined using the concepts and experimental procedures developed by scalar timing theory. Rats were tested in variations of a signalled discrete-trial peak-interval schedule of reinforcement in which the response rate functions identified the time when the rats expected reinforcement. The variations assessed aspects of both reference and working memory for information obtained from prior trials and from the current trial. A double dissociation was found in reference memory. Rats with NBM lesions, like those with frontal cortex (FC) lesions, remembered the time of reinforcement as having occurred later than it actually did; rats with MSA lesions, like those with fimbria-fornix (FF) lesions, remembered the time of reinforcement as having occurred earlier than it did. A single dissociation was found in working memory. MSA lesions and FF lesions impaired working memory, while NBM and FC lesions had no effect on it. These data begin to identify the brain mechanisms underlying temporal memory; they indicate that the frontal and hippocampal systems are both involved, but in complementary ways; and they provide information that helps specify more clearly the functions of the frontal and hippocampal systems.
Meck, WH; Church, RM; Wenk, GL; Olton, DS
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