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Spatial learning by mice in three dimensions

Wilson, JJ; Harding, E; Fortier, M; James, B; Donnett, M; Kerslake, A; O'Leary, A; ... Jeffery, K; + view all (2015) Spatial learning by mice in three dimensions. Behavioural Brain Research , 289 pp. 125-132. 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.04.035. Green open access

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Abstract

We tested whether mice can represent locations distributed throughout three-dimensional space, by developing a novel three-dimensional radial arm maze. The three-dimensional radial maze, or “radiolarian” maze, consists of a central spherical core from which arms project in all directions. Mice learn to retrieve food from the ends of the arms without omitting any arms or re-visiting depleted ones. We show here that mice can learn both a standard working memory task, in which all arms are initially baited, and also a reference memory version in which only a subset are ever baited. Comparison with a two-dimensional analogue of the radiolarian maze, the hexagon maze, revealed equally good working-memory performance in both mazes if all the arms were initially baited, but reduced working and reference memory in the partially baited radiolarian maze. This suggests intact three-dimensional spatial representation in mice over short timescales but impairment of the formation and/or use of long-term spatial memory of the maze. We discuss potential mechanisms for how mice solve the three-dimensional task, and reasons for the impairment relative to its two-dimensional counterpart, concluding with some speculations about how mammals may represent three-dimensional space.

Type: Article
Title: Spatial learning by mice in three dimensions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.04.035
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2015.04.035
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Navigation, 3D, Mice, Memory
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471636
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