Published On: 27/01/2014|Categories: 2013–2017, Vol.35 (1), Vol.35 (2014)|

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Rats were trained in a triangular-shaped pool to find a hidden platform, whose location was defined in terms of two sources of information, a landmark outside the pool and a particular corner of the pool. Subsequent test trials without the platform pitted these two sources of information against one another. In Experiment 1 this test revealed a clear, although selective, sex difference. As in previous experiments, females spent more time in an area of the pool that corresponded to the landmark, but here only when it was a cone but not when it was a pyramid. Males, on the other hand, always spent more time in the distinctive corner of the pool. Experiments 2 and 3 were only with female rats. In Experiment 2 two identical shaped cylinders were used as landmark cues (one plain white and the other vertically patterned with four different patterns). The results of the preference test revealed that only the females trained and tested with the plain cylinder spent more time in the area of the pool that corresponded to the landmark than in the distinctive corner of the pool. Finally, Experiment 3 replicated the results of Experiment 2 while eliminating an alternative explanation in terms of differential contrast between the two cylinders and the black curtain.

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