Recovery of a temporally based visual discrimination after visual cortex lesion in the rat

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In Expt. 1, rats were conditioned to emit a shock avoidance response when the pulse rate of a light was increased. Then, after bilateral visual cortex lesions, the rats were given 10, 20, or 40 days recovery before relearning the discrimination. While all rats were able to relearn the discrimination response, lesion rats had a performance deficit after all recovery periods. Expt. 2 compared the effects of postoperative visual pulse rate training to those of auditory pulse rate training on relearning of the photic pulse-rate discrimination 10 days after visual decortication. Recovery of discrimination responding was better after auditory pulse rate training than after visual training. These data suggest that visual cortex lesions in the rat disrupt perceptual or associational functions involving the temporal features of a visual stimulus. In addition, generalization of relational properties during cross-modal training through multimodal CNS structures appears to enhance recovery of behavior after brain insult. © 1993 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. All Rights reserved.

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