In an eight-arm radial maze, working and reference memory can be assessed simultaneously in the fixed position of reward task (FPRT) in which half of the arms are baited and their positions are fixed throughout the training trails. We characterized performance of rats in the variable position of reward task (VPRT), in which four out of eight arms were baited, but the positions were varied in every training trial. In the VPRT, the rats learned to choose all arms without any discrimination between baited and non-baited arms and the memory retention was time-dependent. The performance of rats in the FPRT was impaired by altering the spatial organization of the extramaze cues while it was not affected in the VPRT. The number of Fos-positive cells transiently increased in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of both groups of animals during the training. Finally, bilateral lesions of the dorsal hippocampus resulted in an impairment of working memory in the FPRT and the performance of the rats in the VPRT. These results suggest that different strategies are used between the FPRT and VPRT but the hippocampus plays an important role in performance of rats trained for the VPRT as well as FPRT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience