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In macaque monkeys (Macaco mulatta), memory for scenes presented on touch screens is fornix dependent. However, scene learning is not a purely spatial task, and existing direct evidence for a fornix role in spatial memory comes exclusively from tasks involving learning about food-reward locations. Here the authors demonstrate that fornix transection impairs learning about spatial stimuli presented on touch screens. Using a new concurrent spatial discrimination learning task, they found that fornix transection did not impair recall of preoperatively learned problems. Relearning, on the other hand, was mildly impaired, and new learning was strongly impaired. New learning of smaller sets of harder problems was also markedly impaired, as was spatial configured learning. This pattern supports a functional specialization according to stimulus domain in the medial temporal lobe.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav Neurosci

Publication Date





138 - 149


Animals, Cues, Discrimination Learning, Female, Fornix, Brain, Macaca mulatta, Male, Photic Stimulation, Spatial Behavior