Rats are reluctant to use circadian timing in a daily time-place task.


On daily time-place learning tasks animals can work for food at different spatial locations during sessions at different times of the day. In previous experiments rats tracked this pattern of food availability with ordinal timing-they learned to respond at the locations in the correct order each day. In contrast, pigeons used circadian timing. In this experiment rats received a mixture of morning session only days, afternoon session only days, and morning and afternoon session days. Under these conditions ordinal timing had low predictive ability, but circadian timing was potentially perfectly predictive of the location of food availability. We thought this procedural change might encourage rats to use circadian timing. However, we found little evidence that rats can use time of day information to track this daily spatiotemporal pattern of food availability. These results are suggestive of differences in the use of circadian clock consultation by rats and pigeons.

Cite this paper

@article{Carr1999RatsAR, title={Rats are reluctant to use circadian timing in a daily time-place task.}, author={Janet A Carr and Donald M Wilkie}, journal={Behavioural processes}, year={1999}, volume={44 3}, pages={287-99} }