An ablation experiment (or lesioning study) is a research method in which areas of the brain are removed or disabled in order to determine their specific functions. Ablation is when tissue is removed using surgery, lasers, or vaporization.
Lesioning studies are a part of the study of cognitive neuroscience, primarily in the area of declarative memory. This technique of study involves study lesions of the brain, whether the result of injury, illness, or induced by the researcher. The two brain structures that are most often used in this type of study is the amygdala and the hippocampus. These studies, generally performed on lab rats, measure the ability to learn new skills and then to transfer that learning to other situations. It has been proved through these studies that the hippocampus integral to learning and memory.