Serial-order behaviour is the ability to complete a sequence of responses in a predetermined order to achieve a reward. In birds, serial-order behaviour is thought to be impaired by damage to the nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL). In the current study, we examined the role of the NCL in serial-order behaviour by training pigeons on a 4-item serial-order task and a go/no-go discrimination task. Following training, pigeons were received infusions of 1μl of either tetrodotoxin (TTX) or saline. Saline infusions had no impact on serial-order behaviour whereas TTX infusions resulted in a significant decrease in performance. The serial-order impairments, however, were not the results of errors of any specific error at any specific list item. With respect to the go/no-go discrimination task, saline infusions also had no impact on performance whereas TTX infusions impaired pigeons' discrimination abilities. Given the impairments on the go/no-go discrimination task, which does not require processing of serial-order information, we tentatively conclude that damage to the NCL does not impair serial-order behaviour per se, but rather results in a more generalised impairment that may impact performance across a range of tasks.
Journal of Neurophysiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: Mar 8, 2018
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