The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus and the nucleus basalis magnocellularis: do both have a role in sustained attention?

Claire L Rostron, Morag J Farquhar, Mary P Latimer, Philip Winn

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It is well established that nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NbM) lesions impair performance on tests of sustained attention. Previous work from this laboratory has also demonstrated that pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) lesioned rats make more omissions on a test of sustained attention, suggesting that it might also play a role in mediating this function. However, the results of the PPTg study were open to alternative interpretation. We aimed to resolve this by conducting a detailed analysis of the effects of damage to each brain region in the same sustained attention task used in our previous work. Rats were trained in the task before surgery and post-surgical testing examined performance in response to unpredictable light signals of 1500 ms and 4000 ms duration. Data for PPTg lesioned rats were compared to control rats, and rats with 192 IgG saporin infusions centred on the NbM. In addition to operant data, video data of rats' performance during the task were also analysed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Number of pages17
JournalBMC Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2008


  • analysis of variance
  • animals
  • attention
  • basal nucleus of meynert
  • conditioning
  • pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus
  • rats
  • reaction time

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