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Generalization in place learning across geometrically different environments is impaired by hippocampal lesions in rats
Author: Tommasi, Luca and Save, Etienne
Journal: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Volume: 84
Year: 2005
Pages: 1—8

A recent study (Tommasi & Thinus-Blanc, 2004) found that when rats trained to search for food hidden in the center of a square-shaped enclosure were tested in the absence of food, they searched precisely in the center of the enclosure. Transfer tests carried out in enclosures differing in shape or size (rectangular-, large square-, and equilateral triangle-shaped) showed that rats searched in the geometric center of the novel environments. In the present work, half of those rats were lesioned bilaterally to the hippocampus and were then re-trained and re-tested in the same task, to be compared to sham rats that received the same retraining/re-test protocol. Results show that lesioned rats, although unimpaired in relearning to localize the center of the square-shaped enclosure, performed considerably worse than sham rats in the transfer tests in the enclosures differing in shape, suggesting a relevant role of the hippocampus in geometry-driven place generalization.