Spatial pattern learning in the radial arm maze
Rats experienced a spatial pattern of baited and unbaited arms in an eight-arm radial maze. The spatial pattern remained constant over trials, but the spatial locations that were baited varied unpredictably. Although there was no evidence of control by the spatial pattern during free choice training trials, the rats’ ability to locate baited arms in forced choice test trials was superior to that of animals in a control condition for which maze arms were not baited in a consistent spatial pattern. This is consistent with the results of experiments showing that spatial choices by rats in a pole box maze are controlled by abstract spatial patterns.