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Working memory (WM), the capacity for short-term storage and manipulation of small quantities of information, depends on fronto-parietal circuits. However, the function of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in WM has gone relatively understudied in rodents. Recent evidence calls into question whether the PPC is necessary for all forms of WM. Thus, the present experiment examined the role of the rat PPC in the Trial-Unique Non-matching-to-Location (TUNL) task, a touchscreen-based visuospatial WM task that relies on the rat medial prefrontal cortex. Temporary inactivation of the PPC caused via bilateral infusions of muscimol and baclofen significantly impaired accuracy and increased the number of correction trials performed, indicating that the PPC is necessary for performance of TUNL. Additionally, we investigated the effects of blocking NMDA or non-NMDA parietal ionotropic glutamate receptors on TUNL and found that, in contrast to the prefrontal cortex, NMDARs in the PPC are not necessary for TUNL performance, whereas blockade of AMPA/Kainate receptors significantly impaired accuracy. These results indicate that performance of the TUNL task depends on the PPC but that NMDA signaling within this brain area is not necessary for intact performance.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Neurobiology of learning and memory
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Simultaneous task performance, or switching between tasks in a concentrated period of time.
The detailed examination of observable activity or behavior associated with the execution or completion of a required function or unit of work.
Anxiety related to the execution of a task. (Campbell's Psychiatric Dictionary, 9th ed.)
The observation and analysis of movements in a task with an emphasis on the amount of time required to perform the task.
Trial that aims to show a new treatment is no better and no worse than the standard treatment.