• Open Access

Addition of fornix transection to frontal-temporal disconnection increases the impairment in object-in-place memory in macaque monkeys


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Dr C.R.E. Wilson, as above.
E-mail: charles.wilson@psy.ox.ac.uk


Both frontal-inferotemporal disconnection and fornix transection (Fx) in the monkey impair object-in-place scene learning, a model of human episodic memory. If the contribution of the fornix to scene learning is via interaction with or modulation of frontal-temporal interaction − that is, if they form a unitary system − then Fx should have no further effect when added to frontal-temporal disconnection. However, if the contribution of the fornix is to some extent distinct, then fornix lesions may produce an additional deficit in scene learning beyond that caused by frontal-temporal disconnection. To distinguish between these possibilities, we trained three male rhesus monkeys on the object-in-place scene-learning task. We tested their learning on the task following frontal-temporal disconnection, achieved by crossed unilateral aspiration of the frontal cortex in one hemisphere and the inferotemporal cortex in the other, and again following the addition of Fx. The monkeys were significantly impaired in scene learning following frontal-temporal disconnection, and furthermore showed a significant increase in this impairment following the addition of Fx, from 32.8% error to 40.5% error (chance = 50%). The increased impairment following the addition of Fx provides evidence that the fornix and frontal-inferotemporal interaction make distinct contributions to episodic memory.