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Sex differences in many non-reproductive behaviors have been described in rodents. This chapter will focus on sex-differences in the learning and information retention of certain kinds of mazes in rats (Rattus norvegicus). The majority of the work has been done on laboratory rats, and suggests that males have a higher ability for contextual fear learning and spatial learning while females performed better in location memory tasks and exhibited a lack of learned helplessness. Gonadal hormones are thought to be partially responsible for these differences and it is likely that these sex-differences arise early in development because altering the sex-hormone levels after puberty doesn’t alter the sex differences. It has also been suggested that learning differences are evolutionarily beneficial for species in which males and females differ in their need to navigate or travel.

Author: Vanessa Lippay

a rat standing on a toilet seat.
Photo courtesy of Flickr and Big_Fat_Rat

Introduction

Rodents share many features at the anatomical, cellular, biochemical, and molecular level with humans. The rat ( Rattus norvegicus ) is a particularly useful as a neurological model and source of primary cell cultures because of their relatively large organs and suborganellar structures. Also, the rat shares similar brain functions to humans, such as anxiety, hunger, circadian rhythm, aggression, memory, sexual behavior and other emotional responses (Beatty, 1979). Therefore many studies use rodent models to approximate human behavioral responses under physiological and pathological conditions.

Differences between male and female non-reproductive behaviors in rodents have been frequently observed in laboratory studies. Among the behaviors that are sexually dimorphic in the rat are activity, aggression, pain, taste sensitivity, food intake and body weight regulation, avoidance responses, taste aversion, performance on certain schedules of reinforcement, and the learning and retention of information relevant to certain kinds of mazes (Beatty, 1979).

The standard for measuring spatial learning and memory ability in mammals is the Morris water maze (MWM) . This maze requires subjects to use the spatial arrangement of objects or cues outside of a circular pool to find a submerged goal platform located in a fixed location in the pool. It is presumed that with repetition rats learn to find the platform by remembering the visual cues surrounding the pool (Perrot-Sinal, 1996). Created 20 years ago, the MWM is currently one of the most frequently used laboratory tools in behavioral neuroscience.

Learning in spatial tasks takes place via two strategies, denominated taxon and local strategies . In denominated taxon, the animals always begin in the same location and learn to reach the end location by repeating the same set of movements each trial. When using local strategies, the animal moves directly to the target location from any starting position guided by distant cues outside of the maze (Cimadevilla, 1999). Memory and spatial learning can also be divided in rodent models into working versus reference memory. Reference memory is similar to local strategies, and depends on the recall of a set of static objects that can then be referred to. Working memory occurs when objects are mobile or exhaustible, this type of memory requires the ability to update and retrieve information (Puts, 2007).

Questions & Answers

what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
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Source:  OpenStax, Mockingbird tales: readings in animal behavior. OpenStax CNX. Jan 12, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11211/1.5
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