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Odor Based Behavioral Tasks Confounded by Distance Dependent Detection: Modification of a Murine Digging Paradigm



Tests of murine higher order cognition are important in order to fully explore the effects of genetic alterations and potential therapies in models of human mental retardation and other deficits of intellect. In this study, inbred and F1 hybrid strains of mice were assessed in a five odor sequence task previously described for rats which employs buried food rewards. Data are provided indicating that the use of buried rewards in mouse olfactory digging tasks should be approached with significant caution. An alternate test of sequence dependent working memory (2-sequence task) using a post choice, drop-in food reward is described. After achievement of stable average plateau scores, a streak and slump pattern, rather than near errorless performance, was observed. Therefore, mice do not appear to effortlessly acquire sequences of odors in a working memory paradigm in which rewarded odors are constantly changing

Topics: Animal Cognition
Year: 2003
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