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Conditioned motor reflexes in cats with damage to the hippocampus

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Hippocampal damage in cats led to: a) A temporary suppression of previously elaborated motor feeding conditioned reflexes (CR); b) A retardation (nearly twice) in the rate of elaboration of a new CR; c) A marked prolongation of latency of CR; d) A disinhibition of negative CR. li]2.|In experiments in which the animals were trained to approach the left-side feeder and press a pedal at one signal and the right-side feeder at another signal, destruction of the hippocampus led to frequent errors in the choice of the proper side of reinforcement.

When the choice reactions were elaborated before the operation, the errors were 30% after it. But when the same reactions were elaborated after hippocampal damage, the errors of choice amounted to 60%. li]3.|It is suggested that the hippocampus is one of the structures within the cortical-subcortical integrative system, which achieves simultaneous integration of excitations caused by the conditional signal, the surrounding environment and the mechanism of memory.

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Gambarian, L.S., Koval, I.N., Garibian, A.A. et al. Conditioned motor reflexes in cats with damage to the hippocampus. Exp Brain Res 15, 15–28 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00234955

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Key words

  • Hippocampus
  • Limbic system
  • Conditioned motor reflexes
  • Learning
  • Memory