Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Olfactory traces and spatial learning in rats
Date de publication
Journal article --- Old month value: Nov
We conducted an experiment to assess the use of olfactory traces for spatial orientation in an open environment in rats, Rattus norvegicus. We trained rats to locate a food source at a fixed location from different starting points, in the presence or absence of visual information. A single food source was hidden in an array of 19 petri dishes regularly arranged in an open-field arena. Rats were trained to locate the food source either in white light (with full access to distant visuospatial information) or in darkness (without any visual information). In both cases, the goal was in a fixed location relative to the spatial frame of reference. The results of this experiment revealed that the presence of noncontrolled olfactory traces coherent with the spatial frame of reference enables rats to locate a unique position as accurately in darkness as with full access to visuospatial information. We hypothesize that the olfactory traces complement the use of other orientation mechanisms, such as path integration or the reliance on visuospatial information. This experiment demonstrates that rats can rely on olfactory traces for accurate orientation, and raises questions about the establishment of such traces in the absence of any other orientation mechanism. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
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