Competition between landmarks in spatial learning: the role of proximity to the goal

Behav Processes. 2006 Jan 10;71(1):59-65. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2005.11.003. Epub 2005 Dec 9.


In two experiments, rats were trained to find a hidden platform in a Morris pool in the presence of two landmarks. Landmark B was present on all training trials, on half the trials accompanied by landmark A, on the remainder by landmark C. For rats in Group Bn, B was near the location of the platform; for those in Group Bf, B was far from the platform. Group Bn performed better than Group Bf on test trials to B alone, but significantly worse on test trials to a new configuration formed by A and C. Thus, the spatial proximity of B to the platform affected not only how well it could be used to locate the platform, but also its ability to prevent learning about other landmarks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Competitive Behavior*
  • Conditioning, Psychological
  • Escape Reaction
  • Female
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology*