Article: article from journal or magazin.
Integration of olfactory information in a spatial representation enabling accurate arm choice in the radial arm maze
Learning and Memory
Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't --- Old month value: Jan-Feb
The aim of the present study was to determine whether and how rats can use local olfactory cues for spatial orientation. Rats were trained in an eight-arm radial maze under different conditions as defined by the presence or absence of supplementary olfactory cues marking each arm, the availability of distant visuospatial information, and the illumination of the maze (light or darkness). The different visual conditions were designed to dissociate among the effects of light per se and those of visuospatial cues, on the use of olfactory cues for accurate arm choice. Different procedures with modifications of the arrangement of olfactory cues were used to determine if rats formed a representation of the spatial configuration of the olfactory cues and if they could rely on such a representation for accurate arm choice in the radial maze. The present study demonstrated that the use of olfactory cues to direct arm choice in the radial arm maze was critically dependent on the illumination conditions and implied two different modes of processing of olfactory information according to the presence or the absence of light. Olfactory cues were used in an explicit manner and enabled accurate arm choice only in the absence of light. Rats, however, had an implicit memory of the location of the olfactory cues and formed a representation of the spatial position of these cues, whatever the lighting conditions. They did not memorize the spatial configuration of the olfactory cues per se but needed these cues to be linked to the external spatial frame of reference.
Animals Cues Lighting Male Maze Learning/*physiology Rats Rats, Long-Evans Smell/*physiology Space Perception/*physiology
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