A completely between-subjects design was used to test three specific hypotheses of hippocampal function: O’Keefe and Nadel’s cognitive mapping theory, Olton’s working-memory theory, and Rawlins’s temporal discontiguity hypothesis. The performance of rats with entorhinal lesions was compared with that of controls on a variety of spatial and nonspatial reference- and working-memory tasks using the same apparatus. The effects of massed versus distributed trials were also investigated. The entorhinal-lesioned animals were impaired on all tests of allocentric localization, regardless of the type of memory tested. The results were entirely consistent with the predictions of cognitive mapping theory, and failed to support the working-memory and temporal discontiguity theories. The results do not rule out the possibility that the cognitive mapping theory might, nevertheless, be a specific case of other, more general theories.
ASJC Scopus subject areas