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The radial arm maze was designed by Olton and Samuelson (1976) to measure spatial learning and memory in rats.


The apparatus consisted of eight equidistantly-spaced arms, each about 4 feet long, and all radiating from a small circular central platform. At the end of each arm there was a food site, the contents of which were not visible from the central platform. The idea behind this design was to ensure that after checking to see if there was food at the end of each arm the rat was forced to return to the central platform before making another choice, and, as a result, always choosing from among eight options.


Using elaborate controls to ensure that the rats were not simply using smell either of unclaimed food objects or of their own tracks, Olton and Samuelson found that rats had excellent memories for visited and or unvisited arms as they made, on average, about 7.0 novel entries in their first 8 choices, and thus were 88% correct. Chance performance with eight arms would be 5.3 novel entries in the first 8 choices (66% correct). Olton and Samuelson also found when they switched some already-visited arms into as yet unvisited locations partway through a trial, the rats tended to visit as-yet unvisited locations even when doing so meant running down arms that had already been traversed, and tended to avoid arms that had not yet been traversed but were now in previously visited locations. It seems that in remembering locations on the radial arm maze, rats do not rely on local intramaze cues, but rather on extramaze cues.


The maze has since been used a great deal by researchers interested in studying the spatial learning and spatial memory of animals. For example, Olton, Collison and Werz (1977) found that performance declined only slightly to 82% novel entries in the first 17 entries on a 17-arm maze. Roberts (1979) found no decline in percentage correct choices as the number of arms on a radial maze were increased from 8 to 16 and then to 24. Cole and Chappell-Stephenson (2003) using a radial maze with food locations ranging from 8 to 48 estimated the limit of spatial memory in rats to be between 24 and 32 locations.

See alsoEdit

References:Edit

BooksEdit

  • Foreman, N., & Ermakova, I. (1998). The radial arm maze: Twenty years on. Hove, England: Psychology Press/Erlbaum (UK) Taylor & Francis.
  • Roberts, W. A., Phelps, M. T., & Schacter, G. B. (1992). Stimulus control of central place foraging on the radial maze. Hillsdale, NJ, England: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

PapersEdit

  • Allen, K., Potvin, O., Dore, F. Y., & Goulet, S. (2004). Modulation of the Impairment of Hippocampectomized Rats on the Radial-Arm Maze Cue Task by Visual Characteristics and Subicular Damage: Behavioral Neuroscience Vol 118(6) Dec 2004, 1214-1224.
  • Allen, K., Potvin, O., Thibaudeau, G., Dore, F. Y., & Goulet, S. (2007). Processing idiothetic cues to remember visited locations: Hippocampal and vestibular contributions to radial-arm maze performance: Hippocampus Vol 17(8) 2007, 642-653.
  • Anderson, B. J., Rapp, D. N., Baek, D. H., McCloskey, D. P., Coburn-Litvak, P. S., & Robinson, J. K. (2000). Exercise influences spatial learning in the radial arm maze: Physiology & Behavior Vol 70(5) Sep 2000, 425-429.
  • Brillaud, E., Morillion, D., & de Seze, R. (2005). Modest environmental enrichment: Effect on a radial maze validation and well being of rats: Brain Research Vol 1054(2) Aug 2005, 174-182.
  • Brown, M. F., & Giumetti, G. W. (2006). Spatial pattern learning in the radial arm maze: Learning & Behavior Vol 34(1) Feb 2006, 102-108.
  • Clements, K. M., & Wainwright, P. E. (2007). Spontaneously hypertensive, Wistar Kyoto and Sprague-Dawley rats differ in performance on a win-stay task and a conditioned cue preference task in the water radial arm maze: Behavioural Brain Research Vol 183(2) Nov 2007, 169-177.
  • Cohen, J., & Bussey, K. (2003). Rats form cognitive maps from spatial configurations of proximal arm cues in an enclosed 4-arm radial maze: Learning and Motivation Vol 34(2) May 2003, 168-184.
  • Cole, M.R., & Chappell-Stephenson. (2003). Exploring the limits of spatial memory using very large mazes. Learning & Behavior, 31, 349-368.
  • Coop, A. D., Stavarache, M. A., Pfaff, D. W., & Reeke, G. N. (2006). Mathematical analysis of locomotor behavior by mice in a radial maze: PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Vol 103(42) Oct 2006, 15710-15715.
  • DiGian, K. A., & Zentall, T. R. (2007). Pigeons may not use dual coding in the radial maze analog task: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes Vol 33(3) Jul 2007, 262-272.
  • Dubreuil, D., Tixier, C., Dutrieux, G., & Edeline, J.-M. (2003). Does the radial arm maze necessarily test spatial memory? : Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Vol 79(1) Jan 2003, 109-117.
  • Eckerman, D. A. (1980). Monte Carlo estimation of chance performance for the radial arm maze: Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society Vol 15(2) Feb 1980, 93-95
  • Glassman, R. B., Leniek, K. M., & Haegerich, T. M. (1998). Human working memory capacity is 72 in a radial maze with distracting interruption: Possible implication for neural mechanisms of declarative and implicit long-term memory: Brain Research Bulletin Vol 47(3) Oct 1998, 249-256.
  • Grandchamp, N., & Schenk, F. (2006). Adaptive changes in a radial maze task: Efficient selection of baited arms with reduced foraging in senescent hooded rats: Behavioural Brain Research Vol 168(1) Mar 2006, 161-166.
  • Haga, Y. (1997). Comparisons of rats' choice behavior among three different radial-maze tasks: Japanese Psychological Research Vol 39(1) Mar 1997, 43-50.
  • Hellweg, R., Lohmann, P., Huber, R., Kuhl, A., & Riepe, M. W. (2006). Spatial navigation in complex and radial mazes in APP23 animals and neurotrophin signaling as a biological marker of early impairment: Learning & Memory Vol 13(1) Jan-Feb 2006, 63-71.
  • Hudon, C., Dore, F. Y., & Goulet, S. (2002). Spatial memory and choice behavior in the radial arm maze after fornix transection: Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry Vol 26(6) Oct 2002, 1113-1123.
  • Hyde, L. A., Hoplight, B. J., & Denenberg, V. H. (1998). Water version of the radial-arm maze: Learning in three inbred strains of mice: Brain Research Vol 785(2) Mar 1998, 236-244.
  • Janus, C., Koperwas, J. S., Janus, M., & Roder, J. (1995). Rearing environment and radial maze exploration in mice: Behavioural Processes Vol 34(2) Jul 1995, 129-140.
  • Joel, D., Tarrasch, R., Feldon, J., & Weiner, I. (1997). Effects of electrolytic lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex or its subfields on 4-arm baited, 8-arm radial maze, two-way active avoidance and conditioned fear tasks in the rat: Brain Research Vol 765(1) Aug 1997, 37-50.
  • Lipp, H.-P., Pleskacheva, M. G., Gossweiler, H., Ricceri, L., Smirnova, A. A., Garin, N. N., et al. (2001). A large outdoor radial maze for comparative studies in birds and mammals: Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews Vol 25(1) 2001, 83-99.
  • Martin, J. R., Oettinger, R., & Battig, K. (1986). Behavioral effects of experimental portacaval anastomosis measured in Dashiell and radial tunnel maze configurations: Physiology & Behavior Vol 38(1) 1986, 21-24.
  • Masuda, Y., Odashima, J.-I., Murai, S., Saito, H., & et al. (1994). Radial arm maze behavior in mice when a return to the home cage serves as the reinforcer: Physiology & Behavior Vol 56(4) Oct 1994, 785-788.
  • McCann, D. J., Rabin, R. A., & Winter, J. C. (1987). Use of the radial maze in studies of phencyclidine and other drugs of abuse: Physiology & Behavior Vol 40(6) 1987, 805-812.
  • Olton, D. S. (1987). The radial arm maze as a tool in behavioral pharmacology: Physiology & Behavior Vol 40(6) 1987, 793-797.
  • Olten, D.S., & Samuelson, R.J. (1976). Remembrance of places passed: Spatial memory in rats. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 2, 97-116.
  • Olton, D.S, Collison, C., & Werz, M.A. (1977). Spatial memory and radial arm maze performance of rats. Learning & Motivation, 8, 289-314.
  • Packard, M. G., Winocur, G., & White, N. M. (1992). The caudate nucleus and acquisition of win-shift radial-maze behavior: Effect of exposure to the reinforcer during maze adaptation: Psychobiology Vol 20(2) Jun 1992, 127-132.
  • Phelps, M. T., & Roberts, W. A. (1989). Central-place foraging by Rattus norvegicus on a radial maze: Journal of Comparative Psychology Vol 103(4) Dec 1989, 326-338.
  • Roberts, W.A. (1979). Spatial memory in the rat on a hierarchical maze. Learning & Motivation, 10, 117-140.
  • Sarter, M., & Steckler, T. (1989). Spontaneous exploration of a 6-arm radial tunnel maze by basal forebrain lesioned rats: Effects of the benzodiazepine receptor antagonist !b-carboline ZK 93 426: Psychopharmacology Vol 98(2) Jun 1989, 193-202.
  • Sessions, G. R., Pilcher, J. J., & Elsmore, T. F. (1998). Scopolamine-induced impairment in concurrent fixed-interval responding in a radial maze task: Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior Vol 59(3) Mar 1998, 641-647.
  • Stepanichev, M. Y., Moiseeva, Y. V., Lazareva, N. A., & Gulyaeva, N. V. (2005). Studies of the Effects of Fragment (25-35) of Beta-Amyloid Peptide on the Behavior of Rats in a Radial Maze: Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology Vol 35(5) Jun 2005, 511-518.
  • Stolberg, A. (2005). Ranking of memories and behavioral strategies in the radial maze: Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis Vol 65(1) 2005, 39-49.
  • Tremblay, J., & Cohen, J. (2005). Spatial configuration and list learning of proximally cued arms by rats in the enclosed four-arm radial maze: Learning & Behavior Vol 33(1) Feb 2005, 78-89.
  • Tuinstra, T., Kobelens, P., Lubbers, L., Verheij, M., & Cools, A. R. (2002). High and low responders to novelty and mesolimbic noradrenaline: Effects of noradrenergic agents on radial-maze performance: Behavioral Neuroscience Vol 116(6) Dec 2002, 1084-1092.
  • Walsh, T. J., & Chrobak, J. J. (1987). The use of the radial arm maze in neurotoxicology: Physiology & Behavior Vol 40(6) 1987, 799-803.
  • Williams, C. L., Packard, M. G., & McGaugh, J. L. (1994). Amphetamine facilitation of win-shift radial-arm maze retention: The involvement of peripheral adrenergic and central dopaminergic systems: Psychobiology Vol 22(2) Jun 1994, 141-148.
  • Wolff, M. C., & Leander, J. D. (2003). Comparison of the effects of antipsychotics on a delayed radial maze task in the rat: Psychopharmacology Vol 168(4) Aug 2003, 410-416.
  • Young, B. J., Fox, G. D., & Eichenbaum, H. (1994). Correlates of hippocampal complex-spike cell activity in rats performing a nonspatial radial maze task: Journal of Neuroscience Vol 14(11, Pt 1) Nov 1994, 6553-6563.

DissertationsEdit

  • Morgan-Paisley, K. L. (2008). Disruptive effects of abeta oligomers to the radial-arm maze performance of rats. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering.


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