The spatial distribution of errors made by rats in Hebb-Williams type mazes in relation to the spatial properties of the blind alleys

S. de Boer, B. Bohus

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Abstract

The various configurations in series of Hebb-Williams type of mazes, which are used to measure problem solving behaviour in rats, differ markedly in structure. The relationship between error behaviour and spatial maze structure in control rats tested in a number of pharmacological experiments is described in this paper. The spatial structure of error behaviour of rats was found to correlate with maze structure. Knowledge of these correlations can be used to predict error patterns in new mazes. Furthermore, aspecific experience acquired by running in a number of different configurations, affected error behaviour in a particular test configuration. This effect of aspecific experience was different from that of specific experience acquired in the same test configuration. In studies investigating effects of (e.g. pharmacological) treatments on maze behaviour of rats, changes in the structure of errors may be useful to determine the nature of the behavioural alterations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-165
Number of pages29
JournalBehavioural Processes
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May-1988

Keywords

  • problem solving strategy
  • blind alley characteristics
  • experience
  • spatial error distribution
  • Hebb-Williams maze
  • food reward
  • rat

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