Unilateral periarcuate and posterior parietal lesions impair conditional position discrimination learning in the monkey

D P CrowneC M Richardson


Monkeys were trained on a conditional position discrimination in which the conditional cue was a light blinking at two distinct rates and the discriminanda (illuminated buttons) appeared in varying symmetrical positions of eccentricity. Unilateral arcuate, posterior parietal, or principal sulcus lesions were performed at criterion. The monkeys were tested to recovery when a homologous lesion was made contralaterally. The first of two analyses examined a period of 4 weeks following each lesion; the unit of analysis was lesions. The arcuate and parietal lesions produced impairments on both widely eccentric and central discriminanda locations; initially, virtually all responses were deflected to the ipsilateral side. There was significant improvement after the arcuate and parietal lesions from weeks 1 to 4. An analysis of total trials to criterion showed major deficits from the second arcuate and parietal lesions, with the arcuate lesion impairment being particularly severe. These results establish that a spatial concept of left vs right is seriously deranged by unilateral lesions of cortical association areas involved in spatial orientation and discrimination.


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