Stimulus specific deficit on visual reversal learning after lesions of medial prefrontal cortex in the mouse.
Additional Document Info
Tests of executive abilities, such as discrimination reversal and attentional set shifting, are sensitive to prefrontal cortex (PFC) damage in primates. The purpose of the present study was to use a primate reversal task to determine if PFC in the mouse is involved in similar cognitive functions. Mice with lesions of medial PFC and Sham operated control animals were trained on a series of visual problems in a computer-automated touchscreen apparatus using stimuli that varied in either pattern (lines) or luminance (black-white). PFC-lesioned mice learned to discriminate both sets of stimuli as readily as controls, but displayed a stimulus specific (pattern only) deficit on the reversal task. Analysis of error patterns on the line reversal suggests the deficit exhibited by PFC-lesioned mice was related to stimulus specific aspects of visual attention, rather than perseveration. These results demonstrate that medial PFC may play a role in control of directed attention and provide further evidence that the touchscreen procedure can be a useful tool for examining functional similarities in brain regions of very diverse species.