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J Exp Biol. 2004 Jan;207(Pt 2):377-83.

Spatial learning in the restrained American cockroach Periplaneta americana.

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Dept of Biological Sciences, 6270 Medical Research Building III, Vanderbilt University, 465 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37235, USA.


Spatial learning abilities were tested in restrained cockroaches by observing antennal projection responses towards the positions of a learned visual cue perceived monocularly by one eye in the context of a second stimulus provided to the contralateral eye. Memory of the position of the conditioning stimulus relative to the contralateral reference stimulus was tested by altering the relative positions of the two stimuli. Memory of the conditioning stimulus is retained if the angle between the conditioning stimulus and the contralateral reference stimulus is maintained. The results suggest that during learning the insect recognizes spatial relationships between the conditioning stimulus and the contralateral reference stimulus. Possible mechanisms, such as retinotopic matching versus angular matching, are discussed.

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