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Perirhinal cortex lesions impair tests of object recognition memory but spare novelty detection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3117-3127
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number12
Early online date24 Nov 2015
DateAccepted/In press - 13 Oct 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2015
DatePublished (current) - Dec 2015


The present study examined why perirhinal cortex lesions in rats impair the spontaneous ability to select novel objects in preference to familiar objects, when both classes of object are presented simultaneously. The study began by repeating this standard finding, using a test of delayed object recognition memory. As expected, the perirhinal cortex lesions reduced the difference in exploration times for novel vs. familiar stimuli. In contrast, the same rats with perirhinal cortex lesions appeared to perform normally when the preferential exploration of novel vs. familiar objects was tested sequentially, i.e. when each trial consisted of only novel or only familiar objects. In addition, there was no indication that the perirhinal cortex lesions reduced total levels of object exploration for novel objects, as would be predicted if the lesions caused novel stimuli to appear familiar. Together, the results show that, in the absence of perirhinal cortex tissue, rats still receive signals of object novelty, although they may fail to link that information to the appropriate object. Consequently, these rats are impaired in discriminating the source of object novelty signals, leading to deficits on simultaneous choice tests of recognition.

    Research areas

  • familiarity, habituation, hippocampus, parahippocampal cortex, recognition memory

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  • Olarte-S-nchez_et_al-2015-European_Journal_of_Neuroscience

    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Wiley at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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    Licence: CC BY


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