Social working memory: Memory for another rat's spatial choices can increase or decrease choice tendencies

In two experiments using a radial-arm maze, pairs of rats made choices among eight maze locations, each containing a large quantity of one of two food types. The choices made by 1 rat affected the choices made by the other rat. Under most conditions, visits by 1 rat increased the tendency of the other rat to subsequently choose that maze location. However, the effect depended on the quality of the food available in a particular location. When it was possible for the rats to observe each other on the maze arms and a rat had experienced that a location contained the less preferred food type, a previous visit to that location by the foraging partner decreased the tendency to visit that location. These effects are attributed to working memory for the spatial choices of another rat, and they indicate that memory produced by a rat’s own visit to a maze location is integrated with memory for the behavior of another rat to determine spatial choice.

Main Author: Brown, Michael
Other Authors: Knight, Mary, Lorek, Edward, Packard, Caroline, Shallcross, Wendy, WiFall, Timothy, Price, Tom, Schumann, Erik
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language: English
Published: 2008
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