Landmark stability is a prerequisite for spatial but not discrimination learning

R Biegler, R G Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neurons sensitive to both place and direction from distinct regions of the hippocampal formation, allometric relationships between spatial learning and hippocampal structure and pronounced impairments in spatial learning after lesions in this area, indicate that the hippocampal formation subserves allocentric spatial learning. To learn more about the process of spatial representation, we have developed a task that provides independent control of both landmark and directional cues. On the basis of physiological and behavioural work, this task also makes it possible to investigate the relevance of associative learning principles, such as predictability, to the spatial domain. We report here that although rats learn to discriminate between landmarks on the basis of their proximity to a reliably predicted food reward, they will only learn to use them to represent its location if they maintain stable locations within a geometric frame of reference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-3
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume361
Issue number6413
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 1993

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Spatial Behavior
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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