UNIT 8.5B Assessment of Spatial Memory Using the T Maze
Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
Copyright © 2003 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Lab Protocol Title
Current Protocols in Neuroscience
How to Cite
Wenk, G. L. 2001. Assessment of Spatial Memory Using the T Maze. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 4:8.5B.1–8.5A.7.
- Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
- Published Print: AUG 1998
This unit describes the use of the T maze to assess spatial memory, and takes into account the alternating behavior of rats in searching for food. The task is based on the premise that animals have evolved an optimal strategy to explore their environment and obtain food with a minimum amount of effort. The T maze has been most extensively used to investigate specific aspects of spatial working memory, which is operationally defined as information that is only useful to a rat during the current experience with the task. A modification of the maze allows for the assessment of reference memory, defined as information that is useful across all exposures to the task (i.e., on any day of testing). Finally, in the absence of food-deprivation, a simple T maze can be used as described to assess spontaneous alternation.