Event Title

Effects of Medial Entorhinal Cortex Lesions in Rats on the Traveling Salesman Problem

Loading...

Media is loading
 

Description

While laboratory-based experiments are beneficial for isolating and targeting specific behaviors, they can restrict our understanding of these behaviors and how they apply in natural settings. The Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) is a spatial task that differs from many other behavioral tasks because it explores foraging behavior in a naturalistic setting rather than examining an animal's ability to perform a specific behavior. Although foraging is a natural, spontaneous behavior, it is also complex, in that it involves decision-making, attention, course planning, memory, spatial processing, and navigation. Our research study examined the role of the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) in the TSP task. Previous research from our lab found that rats with hippocampal lesions were impaired on certain TSP measures, including making more errors by revisiting targets, taking longer to complete the task, and using routes that were less optimal compared to the control rats. Experiments utilizing oversimplified conditions have shown that the MEC plays an important role in spatial processing and spatial memory in ways that are similar to, and yet distinct from, those of the hippocampus. Thus, comparing the effects of MEC lesions to those of hippocampal lesions while rats are performing the TSP task can shed light on the relative contributions of these different anatomical brain areas to naturalistic foraging behavior.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Effects of Medial Entorhinal Cortex Lesions in Rats on the Traveling Salesman Problem

While laboratory-based experiments are beneficial for isolating and targeting specific behaviors, they can restrict our understanding of these behaviors and how they apply in natural settings. The Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) is a spatial task that differs from many other behavioral tasks because it explores foraging behavior in a naturalistic setting rather than examining an animal's ability to perform a specific behavior. Although foraging is a natural, spontaneous behavior, it is also complex, in that it involves decision-making, attention, course planning, memory, spatial processing, and navigation. Our research study examined the role of the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) in the TSP task. Previous research from our lab found that rats with hippocampal lesions were impaired on certain TSP measures, including making more errors by revisiting targets, taking longer to complete the task, and using routes that were less optimal compared to the control rats. Experiments utilizing oversimplified conditions have shown that the MEC plays an important role in spatial processing and spatial memory in ways that are similar to, and yet distinct from, those of the hippocampus. Thus, comparing the effects of MEC lesions to those of hippocampal lesions while rats are performing the TSP task can shed light on the relative contributions of these different anatomical brain areas to naturalistic foraging behavior.