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Spontaneous object-location memory based on environmental geometry is impaired by both hippocampal and dorsolateral striatal lesions.

Poulter, S. L. and Kosaki, Y. and Sanderson, D. J. and McGregor, A. (2020) 'Spontaneous object-location memory based on environmental geometry is impaired by both hippocampal and dorsolateral striatal lesions.', Brain and neuroscience advances., 4 .


We examined the role of the hippocampus and the dorsolateral striatum in the representation of environmental geometry using a spontaneous object recognition procedure. Rats were placed in a kite-shaped arena and allowed to explore two distinctive objects in each of the right-angled corners. In a different room, rats were then placed into a rectangular arena with two identical copies of one of the two objects from the exploration phase, one in each of the two adjacent right-angled corners that were separated by a long wall. Time spent exploring these two objects was recorded as a measure of recognition memory. Since both objects were in different locations with respect to the room (different between exploration and test phases) and the global geometry (also different between exploration and test phases), differential exploration of the objects must be a result of initial habituation to the object relative to its local geometric context. The results indicated an impairment in processing the local geometric features of the environment for both hippocampus and dorsolateral striatum lesioned rats compared with sham-operated controls, though a control experiment showed these rats were unimpaired in a standard object recognition task. The dorsolateral striatum has previously been implicated in egocentric route-learning, but the results indicate an unexpected role for the dorsolateral striatum in processing the spatial layout of the environment. The results provide the first evidence that lesions to the hippocampus and dorsolateral striatum impair spontaneous encoding of local environmental geometric features.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Date accepted:20 October 2020
Date deposited:20 October 2020
Date of first online publication:17 November 2020
Date first made open access:20 October 2020

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