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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of kainic acid and radiofrequency lesions of the pulvinar on visual discrimination in the monkey.

Monkeys with thermocoagulation or kainic acid lesions of the pulvinar and unoperated control monkeys were tested in two tasks: pattern discrimination retention and color discrimination learning in which the stimuli were located at the response sites or were separated spatially from them (S-R separation). The monkeys with kainic acid pulvinar lesions were mildly impaired in retention of the pattern discrimination, but were unimpaired in the color discrimination tasks with or without the S-R separation. The monkeys with thermocoagulation lesions, like monkeys with superior colliculus lesions in a prior study, were severely impaired in performing one of the color discrimination tasks with S-R separation. These findings suggest that: (a) the inferior pulvinar, unlike the superior colliculus, does not contribute to the performance of discriminations involving S-R separation; and (b) corticotectal projections traversing the pulvinar and destroyed by the thermocoagulation lesions are crucial to the performance of discriminations involving S-R separation. The results of an earlier experiment also suggested that interruption of corticotectal fibers passing through the pulvinar impairs performance in another task sensitive to superior colliculus lesions--spatial localization of light flashes. Thus, corticotectal projections may be crucial for the contribution of the colliculus to performance in a variety of visual tasks.[1]


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