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Dev Psychobiol. 1986 Jan;19(1):1-15.

Spatial cue utilization in chronically malnourished rats: task-specific learning deficits.


Rats whose mothers were maintained on either a 25% casein diet or an 8% casein diet and who were provided the same diet after weaning were tested on delayed spatial alternation or on one of a series of spatial localization problems using the Morris maze (Morris, 1981). Malnourished rats demonstrated perseverative deficits in the form of strings of consecutive errors on the delayed spatial alternation. Performance in the Morris maze indicated spatial localization ability and spatial memory processes were not impaired by chronic malnutrition in rats. The data suggest that complex processing of spatial information that includes flexible use of place cues over short intervals is impaired by malnutrition, while spatial localization per se and spatial mapping are not affected.

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