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Behav Neural Biol. 1993 May;59(3):253-7.

Spatial learning in an enclosed eight-arm radial maze in rats with sodium arsanilate-induced labyrinthectomies.

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Neuroscience Program, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


Bilateral vestibular dysfunction was induced in Long-Evans male rats (n = 7) by intratympanic injections of sodium arsanilate (30 mg/side). Control rats (n = 6) received isotonic saline. Animals were tested for labyrinthine integrity by measuring air-righting and contact-righting reflexes. Rats were reduced to 85% of free-feeding body weight and tested in an enclosed 8-arm radial maze (1 trial/day over 10 days). Labyrinthectomized animals made significantly more errors (p < .001) and, unlike the controls, showed no significant improvement on this measure over acquisition training. These rats also made significantly more (p = 0.018) sequential same arm reentries and fewer sequential adjacent arm entries (p < .01). These findings demonstrate that information obtained from the vestibular system is very important in spatial learning in the rat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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