Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 22–27 | Cite as

Hemispheric asymmetry and imprinting: The effect of sequential lesions to the hyperstriatum ventrale

  • J. Cipolla-Neto
  • G. Horn
  • B. J. McCabe


The respective roles in the imprinting process of parts (IMHV) of the left and right hyperstriatum ventrale of the chick brain were examined by destroying first one and then the other IMHV in a two-stage operation. One hundred and eight chicks were dark-reared to ≃ 19 h post-hatch and exposed to a training stimulus for 2 h. Chicks were anaesthetised ≃ 3 h after the end of training. Lesions were placed in either (i) right IMHV (N = 18 birds), (ii) left IMHV (N = 18) or (iii) left or right hyperstriatum accessorium (HA; N = 18). Fifty-four chicks served as sham-operated controls. Chicks were returned to the dark incubator, and, 15–20 h after the operation, the chicks’ approach towards the training stimulus and to a second novel stimulus was measured (Test 1). After this test the chicks were again anaesthetised and a second lesion was made, this lesion being placed in the corresponding structure (IMHV or HA) of the hemisphere contralateral to that with the first lesion. The chicks’ preferences were measured 15–20 h later (Test 2). In Test 1, all birds strongly preferred the training stimulus. In Test 2, sham-operated controls and HA chicks continued to prefer the training stimulus as did chicks with the initial lesion in the left IMHV. However, chicks with the initial lesion in the right IMHV failed to show a preference for the training stimulus. Thus, if the right IMHV is destroyed first the presence of the left IMHV is crucial for retention. In contrast, if the left IMHV is destroyed first the presence of the right IMHV is not crucial for retention: chicks continue to prefer the training stimulus after the right IMHV has been lesioned. In these circumstances, therefore, some region outside IMHV takes on a memory function. The results imply that at least two memory systems are formed during imprinting. One of these involves the left IMHV, the other does not. The putative second system is fully able to sustain recall in the normal chicks by ≃ 26 h after training: if bilateral lesions to IMHV (N = 28 chicks) are made at this time, retention, measured 15–20 h later, is not significantly different from that of sham-operated control chicks (N = 25).

Key words

Chick Imprinting Hyperstriatum ventrale Lesions Learning Cerebral asymmetry Memory 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bateson PPG, Horn G, Rose SPR (1972) Effects of early experience on regional incorporation of precursors into RNA and protein in the chick brain. Brain Res 39: 449–465Google Scholar
  2. Bateson PPG, Horn G, Rose SPR (1975) Imprinting: correlation between behaviour and incorporation of [14C]-uracil into chick brain. Brain Res 84: 207–220Google Scholar
  3. Bateson PPG, Rose SPR, Horn G (1973) Imprinting: lasting effects on uracil incorporation into chick brain. Science 181: 576–578Google Scholar
  4. Bradley P, Horn G (1979) Efferent connections of the hyperstriatum ventrale in the chick brain. J Anat 128: 414–415Google Scholar
  5. Bradley P, Horn G, Bateson P (1981) Imprinting: an electron microscopic study of chick hpyerstriatum ventrale. Exp Brain Res 41: 115–120Google Scholar
  6. Bradley P, Davies DC, Horn G (1982) Connections of the hyperstriatum ventrale in the domestic chick (Gallus domesticus). J Comp Neurol (in press)Google Scholar
  7. Horn G (1981) Neural mechanisms of learning: an analysis of imprinting in the domestic chick. Proc R Soc Lond [Biol] 213: 101–137Google Scholar
  8. Horn G, Rose SPR, Bateson PPG (1973) Experience and plasticity in the nervous system. Science 181: 506–514Google Scholar
  9. Horn G, McCabe BJ, Bateson PPG (1979) An autoradiographic study of the chick brain after imprinting. Brain Res 168: 361–373Google Scholar
  10. Horn G, Cipolla-Neto J, McCabe BJ (1980) Imprinting: effects of sequential lesions of medial hyperstriatum ventrale (MHV). Proceedings of the XXVIIIth International Congress of Physiological Sciences, BudapestGoogle Scholar
  11. Kasamatsu T, Pettigrew JD (1979) Preservation of binocularity after monocular deprivation in the striate cortex of kittens treated with 6-hydroxydopamine. J Comp Neurol 185: 139–162Google Scholar
  12. Kasamatsu T, Pettigrew JD, Ary M (1979) Restoration of visual cortex plasticity by local microperfusion of norepinephrine. J Comp Neurol 185: 163–182Google Scholar
  13. Kohsaka S-I, Takamatsu K, Aoki E, Tsukada Y (1979) Metabolic mapping of chick brain after imprinting using [14C]-2-deoxy-glucose. Brain Res 172: 539–544Google Scholar
  14. McCabe BJ, Horn G, Bateson PPG (1979) Effects of rhythmic hyperstriatal stimulation on chicks’ preferences for visual flicker. Physiol Behav 23: 137–140Google Scholar
  15. McCabe BJ, Horn G, Bateson PPG (1981) Effects of restricted lesions of the chick forebrain on the acquisition of filial preferences during imprinting. Brain Res 205: 29–37Google Scholar
  16. McCabe BJ, Cipolla-Neto J, Horn G, Bateson PPG (1982) Amnesic effects of bilateral lesions placed in the hyperstriatal ventrale of the chick after imprinting. Exp Brain Res 48: 13–21Google Scholar
  17. Warrington EK (1979) Neuropsychological evidence for multiple memory systems. In: Brain and mind. Ciba Foundation Symposium 69 (nar series). Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam, pp 153–156Google Scholar
  18. Winer BJ (1971) Statistical principles in experimental design, 2nd edn. McGraw-Hill, TokyoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Cipolla-Neto
    • 1
  • G. Horn
    • 1
  • B. J. McCabe
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of ZoologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

Personalised recommendations