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Significance of delay in the performance of monkeys with medial temporal lobe resections

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Five studies using 37 Rhesus monkeys were carried out to determine the significance of the length of delay interval in reported performance deficits following temporal rhinencephalic lesions. In five experiments monkeys were trained and tested on delayed alternation (DA) and delayed response (DR) at both conventional and long delay intervals, and at long delay intervals on delayed successive discrimination (DSD).

The results supported previous reports that medial temporal lobe (MTL) lesions produce a greater deficit on DA than on DR, although in these studies a significant deficit was found only on postoperative acquisition and retention. Training on DR at an initial 2 sec delay failed to produce a significant deficit in the MTL group. On the long delay tests the MTL groups failed to show a significantly greater impairment as the delay interval was increased. The results of these studies suggest that length of delay interval plays a relatively minor role in the performance deficits of monkeys with temporal rhinencephalic lesions.

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This investigation was supported by Public Health Service Research Grant MH-02267 from the National Institute of Mental Health. The authors wish to express their appreciation to Carol Morin who prepared the brain sections and to Eleanore Rhodes who prepared the figures. A portion of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, September 6, 1960.

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Correll, R.E., Scoville, W.B. Significance of delay in the performance of monkeys with medial temporal lobe resections. Exp Brain Res 4, 85–96 (1967).

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Key words

  • Rhinencephalic lesions
  • Delay interval
  • Monkey