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J Comp Psychol. 2003 Jun;117(2):176-87.

Spatial memory for food hidden by rats (Rattus norvegicus) on the radial maze: studies of memory for where, what, and when.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


Rats (Rattus norvegicus) were allowed to hide food items on an 8-arm radial maze by carrying the items from the center to boxes at the end of each arm. Retrieval tests given after rats had hidden 4 items showed that they selectively returned to the maze arms where food had been hidden (Experiments 1 and 2). When rats were allowed to hide pieces of cheese (refed food) and pretzels (less preferred food) on different arms, they both hid and retrieved cheese before pretzels (Experiments 2-5). In Experiment 6, rats chose between arms where cheese and pretzels were hidden,with cheese degraded at one delay interval but not the other. Together, these experiments indicate memory for what and where but not when.

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