Human topological task adapted for rats: Spatial information processes of the parietal cortex

Naomi J. Goodrich-Hunsaker, Brian P. Howard, Michael R. Hunsaker, Raymond P. Kesner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Human research has shown that lesions of the parietal cortex disrupt spatial information processing, specifically topological information. Similar findings have been found in non-humans. It has been difficult to determine homologies between human and non-human mnemonic mechanisms for spatial information processing because methodologies and neuropathology differ. The first objective of the present study was to adapt a previously established human task for rats. The second objective was to better characterize the role of parietal cortex (PC) and dorsal hippocampus (dHPC) for topological spatial information processing. Rats had to distinguish whether a ball inside a ring or a ball outside a ring was the correct, rewarded object. After rats reached criterion on the task (>95%) they were randomly assigned to a lesion group (control, PC, and dHPC). Animals were then re-tested. Post-surgery data show that controls were 94% correct on average, dHPC rats were 89% correct on average, and PC rats were 56% correct on average. The results from the present study suggest that the parietal cortex, but not the dHPC processes topological spatial information. The present data are the first to support comparable topological spatial information processes of the parietal cortex in humans and rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-394
Number of pages6
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Hippocampus
  • Parietal cortex
  • Topological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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