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The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Abstract

The effect of food cues and colour cues as an aid in maximizing working memory in rats was the main focus of this experiment. Using 8-arm radial-maze researchers observed whether or not a rat utilized food cues as a greater reference for places it had already visited compared to colour cues. Three phases were carried out in the experiment. Phase 1 consisted of half of the arms containing food cues at the openings with the ends being baited with a food reward. Phase 2 consisted of half of the arms containing colour cues at the openings with the ends being baited with a food reward. Phase 3 was carried out precisely as Phase 1. Each phase was completed over 10 sessions, for a total of 30 sessions. The number of correct arm choices the rat made in the first four arm entries was recorded along with the number of total entries the rat made to find the fourth baited arm. Food cues were expected to act as a greater cue in aiding the rat's performance in completing the radial-maze. However, no consistent differences were found between the effects of food cues and colour cues on working memory in rats.


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