Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award





Dr. W. A. Roberts


The present study investigated the interaction between working and reference spatial memory in an effort to develop an animal model of this interaction. Twelve male Long-Evans rats were tested on an eight-arm radial maze in a two-phase procedure. In the study phase, a rat was allowed to enter four randomly selected arms for a food reward placed at the end of each arm. The test phase allowed the rat access to all eight arms, but only the previously unentered arms contained food. Two of the correct test arms were defined as reference memory arms because they were always correct. The other two correct test arms were defined as working memory arms because they varied randomly among trials. The percentage of correct working memory and reference memory arm entries made in the first 4 choices in the test phase were recorded to find out if rats showed better working memory or reference memory and in what order they chose to visit working and reference memory arms under a variety of conditions. Further research will use this model to analyze what interventions can reduce the type of confusion in working and reference memory seen in human memory impairments.