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Prolonged neglect following unilateral disruption of a prefrontal cortical–dorsal striatal system

Authors


Professor Barry J. Everitt, as above.
E-mail: bje10@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

We investigated the potential function of the system formed by connections between the medial prefrontal cortex and the dorsomedial striatum in aspects of attentional function in the rat. It has been reported previously that disconnection of the same corticostriatal circuit produced marked deficits in performance of a serial, choice reaction-time task while sparing the acquisition of an appetitive Pavlovian approach behaviour in an autoshaping task (Christakou et al., 2001). Here, we hypothesized that unilateral disruption of the same circuit would lead to hemispatial inattention, contrasting with the global attention deficit following complete disconnection of the system. Combined unilateral lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the medial caudate–putamen (mCPu) within the same hemisphere produced a severe and long-lasting contralesional neglect syndrome while sparing the acquisition of autoshaping. These results provide further evidence for the involvement of the medial prefrontal-dorsomedial striatal circuit in aspects of attentional function, as well as insight into the nature of neglect deficits following lesions at different levels within corticostriatal circuitry.

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