Conditioning pp 535-565 | Cite as

Mechanism and Generality of Stimulus Significance Coding in a Mammalian Model System

  • Michael Gabriel
  • Edward Orona
  • Kent Foster
  • Richard W. Lambert
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 26)


Electrolytic lesions of the anteroventral (AV) nucleus of the thalamus impaired significantly retention performance of rabbits in a discriminative avoidance task. In addition the lesions abolished the excitatory, discriminative neuronal discharges which had developed in the cingulate cortex during the course of behavioral acquisition, prior to the induction of the lesions. These results are discussed in relation to a model of cingulate cortical and anterior thalamic functioning, derived from past studies. Two additional studies are presented, which had the objective of determining whether the neuronal encoding processes previously observed in the cingulate cortex and in the AV nucleus occur as well in other linked cortical and thalamic systems (the prefrontal cortex and mediodorsal nucleus of thalamus, and the auditory cortex and medial geniculate nucleus of thalamus). The overall pattern of results suggested a sequential involvement of these major brain systems in associative processes during the course of behavioral acquisition. Certain components of the systems studied (e.g., the ventral division of the medial geniculate nucleus and the medial division of the mediodorsal nucleus) did not manifest neuronal encoding processes related to the discriminative task.


Auditory Cortex Consecutive Period Neuronal Discharge Medial Geniculate Body Superficial Lamina 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Gabriel
    • 1
  • Edward Orona
    • 1
  • Kent Foster
    • 1
  • Richard W. Lambert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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