A trial was marked correct if subjects demonstrated a quick and direct head orienting response to the exact location of the peripheral target (Valero-Cabré et al., 2006, 2008). Subjects were trained for ~4 months in a series of tasks in order to achieve plateau performance levels before undergoing surgery. Three main paradigms were used to assess visuospatial orienting in the horizontal meridian of the visual
field in real space. The Moving 1 task consisted in the presentation of a high contrast moving target (2 cm wide), a dark thin scoop, which contained on its tip a patch of high-incentive food reward (Rushmore et al., 2006, 2010). Visuospatial responses to motion were tested at phototopic ambient light levels (43 cd/m2). The Static task required animals to detect and orient to the illumination of high-contrast static light emitting diodes (LEDs; 3 mm diameter) as described in previous studies (Lomber et al., 2006; Schweid ATM inhibitor et al., 2008; Valero-Cabré et al., 2008). The Moving 2 task was LBH589 cell line a motion version of the Static paradigm, in which the stimulus was a moving laser (3 mm diameter) light spot rather than a static LED. All other parameters, such as stimulus size and illumination between the Static and Moving 2 task, were similar and tested in low ambient light
levels (0.3 cd/m2). In contrast with the Moving 1 task, with these two tasks the rewards differed in time with regards to the presentation of the stimulus. Typically animals reached plateau levels of performance after ~200 trials for the Moving 1 task, which was the first and less challenging task to learn. The Moving 2 and Static tasks were learned simultaneously and required ~1200–1500 and 3000 trials respectively to reach consistent plateau levels. The learning period invested in training the animals to effectively perform these three tasks required ~3.5–4 months of rigorous daily training. Histamine H2 receptor The day prior to surgery, animals were sedated with ketamine (10 mg/kg i.m.), a venous catheter was inserted, and dexamethasone (Samuel Perkins Inc.,
Quincy, MA, USA; 1 mg/kg i.m.) and the antibiotic cefazolin (20 mg/kg, i.v.) were both administered. On the next morning anesthesia was induced with sodium pentobarbital (Henry Schein, Melville, NY, USA; 25 mg/kg, i.v.), and then dexamethasone (1 mg/kg i.m.) and atropine sulfate (Samuel Perkins Inc., 0.03 mg/kg s.c.) were given to reduce inflammation and mucous secretions, respectively. An endotracheal tube, EKG electrodes and a rectal probe were placed in order to monitor heartbeat and respiration rate, and to measure core body temperature. These variables were monitored and recorded every 10–15 min. Once the physiological parameters were stable, the head was secured in a stereotaxic apparatus (David Kopf Instruments, Tujunga, CA, USA) and centered in Horsley-Clarke coordinates (Reinoso-Suarez, 1961). The brain was then exposed and a 10-μl Hamilton syringe was used to inject 1μl of sterile ibotenic acid (10 μg/μl; Sigma-Aldrich Inc.