The influence of cue type and configuration upon radial-maze performance in the rat

Philipp J. Kraemer, Mary E. Gilbert, Nancy K. Innis

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42 Scopus citations


The influence of cue type and cue configuration on radial-maze performance in rats was examined in two experiments. In the first experiment, it was found that rats provided with both salient intramaze and extramaze cues acquired the task faster than rats given only one set of cues. No difference in acquisition was found between a group trained with intramaze cues alone and a group trained with extramaze cues alone. In a cue-preference test, it was found that groups that had been trained with extramaze cues, intramaze cues, or both sets of cues relied on extra-maze cues to avoid visited arms when given both types of cues concurrently. When all groups were transferred to intramaze-cue-alone trials, only the group that had been originally trained with extramaze cues alone showed any disruption. Also, during the second half of the intramaze-cue-alone trials, the arrangement of these cues was randomly changed on each trial. This disruption in cue configuration did not deleteriously affect performance in any of the three groups; all remained above chance performance, although the performance of the group originally trained with extramaze cues alone was inferior to that of the other two groups. In Experiment 2, groups of rats were trained on daily alternating trials under intramaze-cue-alone and extramaze-cue-alone conditions. For one group, the configuration of intramaze cues was altered randomly on each trial; the other group had intramaze cues always presented in the same configuration over trials. It was found that acquisition was more rapid on intramaze trials in the group given static configurations. Also, acquisition of the extramaze task was faster than the intramaze task in the group given variable intramaze cue configurations. No difference was found between the intramaze and extramaze conditions in the group given static intramaze cue configurations. These data suggest that a static cue configuration may influence radial maze performance, but is not a necessary condition for such performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Learning and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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