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Spatial relational learning persists following neonatal hippocampal lesions in macaque monkeys.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Lavenex Pierre, Lavenex Pamela Banta, Amaral David G,
Project Postnatal development of the hippocampal formation: neuroanatomical and plasticity studies in monkeys
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Nature neuroscience
Volume (Issue) 10(2)
Page(s) 234 - 9
Title of proceedings Nature neuroscience
DOI 10.1038/nn1820


The hippocampus is important for the acquisition of spatial representations of the environment and consequently in contextual memory. This suggests that the neural substrates underlying spatial cognition might be essential for remembering specific life episodes. Indeed, hippocampal lesions prevent spatial relational learning in adult rodents and monkeys, and result in profound amnesia in adult humans. In contrast, we show here that monkeys with neonatal hippocampal lesions learned new spatial relational information. Our experiments suggest that early hippocampal damage leads to functional brain reorganization that enables spatial information to be acquired through the use of brain regions that normally do not subserve this function.