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Maze orientation visual and vestibular cues in 2 maze spontaneous alternation of rats

Maze orientation visual and vestibular cues in 2 maze spontaneous alternation of rats

Physiological Psychology 5(4): 414-420

A study of the cues involved in spontaneous alternation in which the 1st turn took place in 1 maze and the 2nd turn in a different maze showed identical levels of significant, above-chance, alternation whether the mazes were parallel or perpendicular to each other; that binding did not affect alternation rates; and that bilateral vestibular neurotomy produced a severe and long-lasting (up to 1 yr) reduction of spontaneous alternation under all cue conditions tested. This reduction was greatest in the parallel condition. In the absence of visually differentiated maze arms, vision plays no role in 2 maze spontaneous alternation while kinesthetic cues may play a role. Alternation depends on the integrity of the vestibular system, although the specificity of the vestibular alternation deficit remains to be determined. Data on righting reflexes in air, collected in evaluation of vestibular function, are presented.

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