Article: article from journal or magazin.
Olfactory cues potentiate learning of distant visuospatial information
Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't --- Old month value: Sep
The influence of proximal olfactory cues on place learning and memory was tested in two different spatial tasks. Rats were trained to find a hole leading to their home cage or a single food source in an array of petri dishes. The two apparatuses differed both by the type of reinforcement (return to the home cage or food reward) and the local characteristics of the goal (masked holes or salient dishes). In both cases, the goal was in a fixed location relative to distant visual landmarks and could be marked by a local olfactory cue. Thus, the position of the goal was defined by two sets of redundant cues, each of which was sufficient to allow the discrimination of the goal location. These experiments were conducted with two strains of hooded rats (Long-Evans and PVG), which show different speeds of acquisition in place learning tasks. They revealed that the presence of an olfactory cue marking the goal facilitated learning of its location and that the facilitation persisted after the removal of the cue. Thus, the proximal olfactory cue appeared to potentiate learning and memory of the goal location relative to distant environmental cues. This facilitating effect was only detected when the expression of spatial memory was not already optimal, i.e., during the early phase of acquisition. It was not limited to a particular strain.
Animals Appetitive Behavior *Association Learning Cues Discrimination Learning Distance Perception Escape Reaction Female Goals *Mental Recall *Motivation *Orientation Rats Reaction Time Retention (Psychology) *Smell Species Specificity
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