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How rats perform spatial working memory tasks: Limitations in the use of egocentric and idiothetic working memory

Futter, James Edward and Aggleton, John Patrick 2006. How rats perform spatial working memory tasks: Limitations in the use of egocentric and idiothetic working memory. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 59 (1) , pp. 77-99. 10.1080/02724990544000068

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Rats of the Dark Agouti strain were trained on delayed alternation under conditions that should encourage egocentric working memory. In two experiments a T-maze was set within a cross-maze so that different arms could be used for the sample and test runs. The maze had high opaque side-walls, and testing was conducted in low light levels so that distal visual cues might be eliminated. By rotating the maze 90° between the sample and choice run and by using two identical mazes set side by side it was possible to nullify other spatial strategies. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that rats preferentially used place information, intramaze cues, and direction cues, even though only egocentric or idiothetic (nonmatch-to-turn) working memory could successfully solve every trial. Rats were able to maintain an accurate sense of location within the maze even though distal cues were not visible and the animal was moved between the sample and choice runs. Experiment 2 confirmed that another rat strain (Long-Evans) shows the same learning profiles. Both experiments indicate that rats are very poor at using either egocentric or idiothetic information to alternate, and that retention delays as short as 10 s can eliminate the use of these forms of memory.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1747-0218
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:42

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