An analysis of response, direction, and place learning in an open field and T maze

J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 2003 Jan;29(1):3-13.


Rats were trained to locate food in a response, direction, or place problem on an open field located at 2 positions. In Experiment 1, both the response and direction groups solved the problem. The place group failed to solve the task in approximately 300 trials. Experiment 2 demonstrated that rats need distinguishable start points to solve a place problem when neither a response nor a direction solution is available. Findings from Experiment 3 suggest that a combination of path traveled and distinct cues help to differentiate start points. Experiment 4 replicated the findings using a T maze. These results suggest "place" solutions are difficult for rats. The data are discussed with respect to conditional learning and modern spatial mapping theory.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Association Learning
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Conditioning, Operant
  • Cues
  • Discrimination Learning*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning
  • Orientation*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Space Perception*
  • Spatial Behavior*