Stress impairs spatial but not early stimulus–response learning

Recent evidence indicates that stress modulates multiple memory systems, favoring caudate nucleus based stimulus–response learning at the expense of hippocampus-based spatial learning. Whether this is due to a facilitating effect of stress on stimulus–response learning, an impairing effect on spatial learning, or both, is not known. To answer this question, mice were either subjected to […]

Spatial learning and memory in African mole-rats: The role of sociality and sex

Spatial learning and memory is an important skill for the survival and fitness and may vary between the sexes depending on differences in space use. This is particularly true for animals that explore the subterranean niche as it is associated with high travelling costs. In subterranean rodents the complexity of burrow systems varies with differing […]

Spatial learning in a T-maze by the crayfish Orconectes rusticus

The T-maze has commonly been used to investigate the mechanisms underlying spatial learning in vertebrates and has yielded much information about how animals use response and place cues to orient toward a goal. We designed a T-maze to study the spatial learning abilities of crayfish (Orconectes rusticus), using tactile stimuli as a place cue and […]

Spatial learning and memory in the tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria)

A single tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria) was trained in an eight-arm radial maze, with the apparatus and general procedures modeled on those used to demonstrate spatial learning in rats. The tortoise learned to perform reliably above chance, preferentially choosing baited arms, rather than returning to arms previously visited on a trial. Test sessions that examined control […]

Effects of genistein in the maternal diet on reproductive development and spatial learning in male rats

Endocrine disruptors, chemicals that disturb the actions of endogenous hormones, have been implicated in birth defects associated with hormone-dependent development. Phytoestrogens are a class of endocrine disruptors found in plants. In the current study we examined the effects of exposure at various perinatal time periods to genistein, a soy phytoestrogen, on reproductive development and learning […]

Experimental Evidence for Spatial Learning in Octopuses (Octopus bimaculoides)

Octopuses forage far from temporary home dens, to which they return for shelter. Spatial tasks may assess learning. Octopuses ( Octopus bimaculoides ) were placed in a novel arena, and their movements were tracked for 72 hr. Movements around the arena decreased across time, consistent with exploratory learning. Next, octopuses were given 23 hr to […]

Spatial navigation strategies in Peromyscus: a comparative study

A male advantage in spatial abilities is predicted to evolve in species where males rely on expansion of home territory to locate dispersed mates during the breeding season. We sought to examine mechanistic underpinnings of this evolved trait by comparing spatial navigational abilities in two species of Peromyscus that use widely different reproductive strategies: deer […]

Maternal exposure to environmental enrichment before and during gestation influences behaviour of rat offspring in a sex-specific manner

The beneficial effects of Environmental Enrichment (EE) applied immediately after weaning or even in adulthood have been widely demonstrated. Less is known about the possible changes in behaviour and brain development of the progeny following the exposure of dams to EE. In order to further investigate this matter, female rats were reared in EE for […]

Female and male pigs’ performance in a spatial holeboard and judgment bias task

Studies of the cognitive abilities of pigs are increasing in number, due to their relevance for the fields of animal welfare and biomedical research. While both female and male pigs have been used in cognitive tasks, possible sex differences in performance have not yet received extensive attention. This is of interest, as sexual dimorphism in […]