Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Cohen, Jerome (Biological Sciences)

Keywords

Animal behavior.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Spatial memory is important for animals to achieve successful foraging in structurally complex habitats. Animals use consistent patch location as a reference to locate food. To use objects as navigational landmarks, animals must encode the specific spatial location and non-spatial features of the location of hidden food within their working memory. How animals use both the spatial and non-spatial aspects of landmarks and beacons is a major theoretical question in the study of their cognitive processes. The two objectives of this thesis were to determine whether spatial encoding is absolute or relative and how much of the spatial and non-spatial information is encoded. Also, we expanded Brodbeck's (1994) method for investigating multi-dimensional cue preferences. Results showed the flexibility of rat's visuo-spatial working memory. The baseline results obtained from my study will be helpful in conducting comparative studies on working memory across species and to study various disease models affecting working memory.

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