Contribution of brain with or without visual cortex lesion to exploratory locomotion in the rat

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Nemati, Farshad
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Over the past five decades spatial behavior has been a subject of research interest in psychology and neuroscience, in part based on philosophical theories of mental spatial representations. In order to continue uncovering the facts regarding spatial behavior, the focus of this thesis was on the contribution of entry point and visual inputs to the organization of exploratory locomotion and spatial representation in the rat. Despite the contribution of the hippocampus to spatial abilities, the exploratory locomotion is still visually organized in rats with damage to the hippocampus. On the other hand, recent studies have demonstrated a contribution of visual areas to the spatial ability of the rat. Nevertheless, the contribution of visual cortex to the organization of exploratory locomotion has not been studied in an open field. The experiments in this thesis were designed to characterize the organization of exploratory locomotion to the point of entry and/or visual cues. Rats were started from the edge or center of an open table near or on which a salient object could be placed. The main findings were that rats organized their exploratory locomotion to their point of entry and modified their behavior as they encountered objects. Also, rats with damage to visual cortex displayed an extra-attachment to the visual objects and in contrast to controls did not expand their exploratory locomotion with time. The results are discussed with respect to the centrality of the entry point in the organization of exploratory locomotion and the neural network that control visual exploration in the rat.
xiii, 220 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm. --
Dissertations, Academic , Spatial behavior in animals -- Research , Rats -- Behavior , Animal locomotion -- Research , Visual cortex -- Research
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2008