Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Roberts, William A.

2nd Supervisor

Sherry, David F.



The ability to encode and retrieve information describing spatial locations allows organisms to solve a variety of natural problems. When multiple spatial locations vary with respect to foraging, predatory or environmental factors, successfully discriminating between these locations may result in increased fitness. Although, how do the spatial relations of multiple locations affect the encoding or retrieval of spatial information? Across three radial maze experiments, I addressed how spatial configuration affects working memory for multiple locations. Specifically, I asked 1) how spatial patterns affect memory for multiple locations, 2) how spatial isolation between to-be-visited locations may affect spatial memory, and 3) whether memory for spatially isolated locations is modulated by motivational factors. The findings support the hypothesis that spatial memory is sensitive to spatial configuration and are compared to the von Restorff effect. The absolute spatial distinctiveness of locations is proposed to be the underlying factor for the observed effects.