Animals with nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM), parietal cortex, dorsolateral frontal cortex, amygdala or control lesions were tested in a neophobia and taste aversion learning task. Only animals with basolateral amygdala lesions were impaired in taste aversion learning and in displaying neophobia to a novel flavor. This finding suggested a dissociation between the function of the NBM component of the basal forebrain cholinergic system and the amygdala. The same animals with NBM or control lesions were then tested for acquisition of a spatial navigation task using a dry-land version (cheese board) of the Morris water maze. Animals with NBM lesions were impaired in this task relative to control animals. Animals with parietal cortex lesions displayed a comparable deficit in the place navigation task. These findings suggest parallel functions for the NBM component of the basal forebrain system and the parietal cortex. The role of the NBM in mediating memory appears to be limited in that it does not play a role in all learning situations.
- Learning Nucleus basilis magnocellularis Parietal cortex Amygdala Neophopia Taste aversion Place navigation
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