Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Biol. 2013 Mar 4;23(5):387-91. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.01.023. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Source memory in the rat.

Author information

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-7007, USA.


Source memory is a representation of the origin (source) of information. When source information is bound together, it makes a memory episodic, allowing us to differentiate one event from another. Here, we asked whether rats remember the source of encoded information. Rats foraged for distinctive flavors of food that replenished (or failed to replenish) at its recently encountered location according to a source-information rule. To predict replenishment, rats needed to remember where they had encountered a preferred food type (chocolate) with self-generated (walking along a runway encountering chocolate) or experimenter-generated (placement of the rat at the chocolate site by an experimenter) cues. Three lines of evidence implicate the presence of source memory. First, rats selectively adjusted revisits to the chocolate location based on source information, under conditions in which familiarity of events could not produce successful performance. Second, source memory was dissociated from location memory by different decay rates. Third, temporary inactivation of the CA3 region of the hippocampus with lidocaine selectively eliminated source memory, suggesting that source memory is dependent upon an intact hippocampus. Development of an animal model of source memory may be valuable to probe the biological underpinnings of memory disorders marked by impairments in source memory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center