Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Difficulty overcoming learned non-reward during reversal learning in rats with ibotenic acid lesions of orbital prefrontal cortex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Behavioral flexibility is a concept often invoked when describing the function of the prefrontal cortex. However, the psychological substrate of behavioral flexibility is complex. Its key components are allocation of attention, goal-directedness, planning, working memory, and response selection. Furthermore, there is evidence that different regions of the prefrontal cortex might be implicated in these different components. In rule-switching tasks, a distinction is made between errors that are perseverative (difficulty switching from a previously rewarded strategy) and errors due to learned-irrelevance (difficulty switching to a strategy previously uncorrelated with reward). A similar distinction might be made for reversal learning, which involves inhibition of a previously rewarded response and activation of a previously unrewarded response. Damage to the orbital prefrontal cortex (OPFC) results in a deficit in reversal learning. The present study was designed to examine whether one or both of either perseveration or learned non-reward might account for the deficit. Rats with bilateral ibotenic acid-induced lesions of the OPFC were not impaired in acquisition of discriminations. They were impaired, relative to controls, only when they had to overcome learned non-reward. They did not show enhanced perseveration. We conclude that an inability to overcome learned non-reward significantly contributes to OPFC lesion-induced deficits in behavioral flexibility.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-420
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

    Research areas

  • orbital prefrontal cortex, attentional set-shifting, ibotenic acid, reversal learning, perseveration, rat, SEROTONIN DEPLETION, COGNITIVE INFLEXIBILITY, PARKINSONS-DISEASE, FRONTAL-CORTEX, RAT, PERFORMANCE, MECHANISMS, ERRORS, SHIFTS

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Assessment of intradimensional/extradimensional attentional set-shifting in rats

    Tait, D. S., Bowman, E. M., Neuwirth, L. S. & Brown, V. J., Jun 2018, In : Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 89, p. 72-84 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Oral dosing of rodents using a palatable tablet

    Dhawan, S. S., Xia, S., Tait, D. S., Bundgaard, C., Bowman, E. & Brown, V. J., May 2018, In : Psychopharmacology. 235, 5, p. 1527-1532 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Effects of lesions of the subthalamic nucleus/zona incerta area and dorsomedial striatum on attentional set-shifting in the rat

    Tait, D. S., Phillips, J. M., Blackwell, A. D. & Brown, V. J., 14 Mar 2017, In : Neuroscience. 345, p. 287-296 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Cloning and expression of guanylin-like peptides in teleost fish.

    Cramb, G., Martinez, A-S., McWilliam, I. S. & Wilson, G. D., 2005, In : Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1040, p. 277-280

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Effect of cortisol on Aquaporin expression in the esophagus of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla).

    Martinez, A-S., Cutler, C. P., Wilson, GD., Philips, C., Hazon, N. & Cramb, G., 2005, In : Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1040, p. 395-398

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 374843