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Representation of three-dimensional objects by the rat perirhinal cortex

Authors

  • S.N. Burke,

    1. Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    2. Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neural Systems Memory and Aging, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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  • A.P. Maurer,

    1. Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    2. Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neural Systems Memory and Aging, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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  • A.L. Hartzell,

    1. Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    2. Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neural Systems Memory and Aging, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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  • S. Nematollahi,

    1. Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    2. Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neural Systems Memory and Aging, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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  • A. Uprety,

    1. Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    2. Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neural Systems Memory and Aging, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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  • J.L. Wallace,

    1. Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    2. Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neural Systems Memory and Aging, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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  • C.A. Barnes

    Corresponding author
    1. Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    2. Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neural Systems Memory and Aging, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    3. Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    4. Department of Neurology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
    • Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, Life Sciences North Building, Room 384, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
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Abstract

The perirhinal cortex (PRC) is known to play an important role in object recognition. Little is known, however, regarding the activity of PRC neurons during the presentation of stimuli that are commonly used for recognition memory tasks in rodents, that is, three-dimensional objects. Rats in the present study were exposed to three-dimensional objects while they traversed a circular track for food reward. Under some behavioral conditions, the track contained novel objects, familiar objects, or no objects. Approximately 38% of PRC neurons demonstrated “object fields” (a selective increase in firing at the location of one or more objects). Although the rats spent more time exploring the objects when they were novel compared to familiar, indicating successful recognition memory, the proportion of object fields and the firing rates of PRC neurons were not affected by the rats' previous experience with the objects. Together, these data indicate that the activity of PRC cells is powerfully affected by the presence of objects while animals navigate through an environment; but under these conditions, the firing patterns are not altered by the relative novelty of objects during successful object recognition. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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