This chapter discusses object recognition in rats. It describes the two paradigms most often used to assess object recognition in rats: delayed nonmatching-to-sample (DNMS) and novel-object-preference (NOP). It shows that despite superficial similarities, DNMS and NOP tests engage different behavioral and motivational systems and therefore entail different procedural pitfalls and interpretational challenges. Still, findings from lesion experiments using either task have so far been fairly consistent, suggesting that the hippocampus is not critical for object-recognition memory, whereas the perirhinal cortex plays a more significant role. These conclusions are consistent with findings of changes in single-unit responses and c-fos expression within the perirhinal cortex produced by repeatedly presented visual stimuli.
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