Generalization in place learning and geometry knowledge in rats

Learn Mem. 2004 Mar-Apr;11(2):153-61. doi: 10.1101/lm.60904.


Rats were trained to search for a food reward hidden under sawdust in the center of a square-shaped enclosure designed to force orientation on the basis of the overall geometry of the environment. They were then tested in a number of enclosures differing in shape and in size (rectangular-, double-side square-, and equilateral triangle-shaped enclosures). Results showed that rats transferred their place-finding ability to the novel enclosures. Our results add evidence to the hypothesis that the evolutionary roots of spatial cognition entail a primitive encoding of geometric relationships, as already shown using other tasks in rats.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Appetitive Behavior
  • Association Learning*
  • Male
  • Orientation*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Space Perception
  • Spatial Behavior*
  • Transfer, Psychology*