Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Jerome Cohen


Biological sciences, Psychology, Foraging, Nonspatial cues, Rats, Spatial cues, Workingmemory




Animals use various spatial and non-spatial cues when navigating the environment. They can use spatial cues such as a landmark's local position, global position and orientation, or they can use a landmark's non-spatial featural information. The objectives of this thesis were: 1) to determine the conditions under which rats process information separately or simultaneously; 2) to determine how rats process stimuli when previously fixed information becomes more variable; 3) to determine whether animals can use spatial information when a previously encoded non-spatial cue is occasionally eliminated. The results obtained from this research suggest that rats use two different types of processing as a function of variability of redundant information. Moreover, changes within trials were only disruptive for animals that encountered information that had not varied between trials. However, with continued exposure to within-trial changes, these animals' accuracy increased to levels comparable to animals presented with information that varied between trials.