The anteromedial extrastriate complex is critical for the use of allocentric visual cues and in the retention of the Lashley III maze task in rats
The anteromedial extrastriate complex has been proposed to play an essential role in a spatial orientation system in rats. To gain more information about that possible role, in the present work, two questions were addressed: 1. Are allocentric visual cues relevant for acquisition of the orientation task in the Lashley III maze? 2. Is this integration of allocentric inputs in the anteromedial visual complex relevant in the retention of this test? While a control group of rats was trained keeping the maze in the same position, the experimental group was trained with the maze rotated counterclockwise by 144 degrees from session to session. Control rats reached learning criterion significantly earlier and with less errors than the experimental ones (p<.05). After 11 sessions, rats of both groups received stereotaxic injections of ibotenic acid in the anteromedial complex. In the retention test one week after surgery, the control group, which had been able to learn using egocentric and allocentric visual cues, showed a greater déficit than the experimental animáis (p<.05). These results confirm the role of the anteromedial complex in the processing of visuospatial orientation tasks and demónstrate the integration of allocentric visual cues in the solution of those tasks.