The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
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Object recognition is consistently impaired in human amnesia and animal models thereof. Results from subjects with permanent brain damage have revealed the importance of the perirhinal cortex to object recognition memory. Here, we report evidence from rats for interdependent but distinct stages in object recognition memory (encoding, retrieval, and consolidation), which require glutamate receptor activity within perirhinal cortex. Transient blockade of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission within perirhinal cortex disrupted encoding for short- and long-term memory as well as retrieval and consolidation. In contrast, transient NMDA receptor blockade during encoding affected only long-term object recognition memory; NMDA receptor activity was also necessary for consolidation but not retrieval. These results further demonstrate the importance of perirhinal cortex for object recognition memory and suggest that, as in the hippocampus, AMPA and NMDA receptors mediate synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, respectively, in several stages of memory processing.