Remembrance of Places you Passed: Social Spatial Working Memory in Rats

Pairs of rats were tested in a radial-arm maze to determine whether the spatial choices made by one rat affect the subsequent spatial choices of the other rat. In a free-choice procedure, rats showed an increased tendency to choose the location that had most recently been chosen by a foraging partner but a decreased tendency to visit locations that the foraging partner had visited earlier. Forced-choice procedures were used to better control the social stimulus and the interactions between the rats. Under some conditions, locations were chosen later in the choice sequence of a subject rat if another rat had been observed choosing that location. Odor and other physical traces of the other rat’s visits were ruled out as explanations for this effect. The results demonstrate the existence of working memory for locations visited by a familiar conspecific.

Main Author: Brown, Michael
Other Authors: Farley, Robert, Lorek, Edward
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language: English
Published: 2007
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