Navigation Links
Are animals stuck in time?
Date:4/3/2008

Dog owners, who have noticed that their four-legged friend seem equally delighted to see them after five minutes away as five hours, may wonder if animals can tell when time passes. Newly published research from The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada may bring us closer to answering that very question.

The results of the research, entitled Episodic-Like Memory in Rats: Is it Based on When or How Long Ago, appear in the current issue of the journal Science, which was released today.

William Roberts and his colleagues in Westerns Psychology Department found that rats are able to keep track of how much time has passed since they discovered a piece of cheese, be it a little or a lot, but they dont actually form memories of when the discovery occurred. That is, the rats cant place the memories in time.

The research team, led by Roberts, designed an experiment in which rats visited the arms of a maze at different times of day. Some arms contained moderately desirable food pellets, and one arm contained a highly desirable piece of cheese. Rats were later returned to the maze with the cheese removed on certain trials and with the cheese replaced with a pellet on others.

Three groups of rats were tested in the research using three varying cues: when, how long ago or when plus how long ago.

Only the cue of "how long ago food was encountered" was used successfully by the rats.

These results, the researchers say, suggest that episodic-like memory in rats is qualitatively different from human episodic memory, which involves retention of the point in past time when an event occurred.

The rats remember whether they did something, such as hoarded food a few hours or five days ago, explained Roberts. The more time that has passed, the weaker the memory may be. Rats may learn to follow different courses of action using weak and strong memory traces as cues, thus responding differently depending on how long ago an event occurred. However, they do not remember that the event occurred at a specific point in past time.

Previous studies have suggested that rats and scrub jays (a relative of the crow and the blue jay) appear to remember storing or discovering various foods, but it hasnt been clear whether the animals were remembering exactly when these events happened or how much time had elapsed.

This research, said Roberts, supports the theory I introduced that animals are stuck in time, with no sense of time extending into the past or future.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeff Renaud
jrenaud9@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x85165
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Report: African, Asian, Latin American farm animals face extinction
2. UT researcher sheds new light on hybrid animals
3. Penn Veterinary Medicine report new strategy to create genetically-modified animals
4. UT researcher sheds new light on hybrid animals
5. Fungus genome yielding answers to protect grains, people and animals
6. From GM farm animals to embryonic stem cell research
7. Colorful view for first land animals
8. Gene guards grain-producing grasses so people and animals can eat
9. Texas A&M testing oral contraceptives for animals
10. Mantis shrimp vision reveals new way that animals can see
11. Common aquatic animals show extreme resistance to radiation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- The research team of The Hong Kong Polytechnic ... by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching technology, ... accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security of ... ... A research team led by Dr ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed ... received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, ... picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 21, 2017 Optimove , provider ... retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today announced ... and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, these ... and replenishment recommendations to their customers based not ... of customer intent drawn from a complex web ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Vortex Biosciences , provider of ... of prostate circulating tumor cells using Vortex microfluidic technology ” in Nature Precision Oncology ... with Dr. Dino Di Carlo and Dr. Matthew Rettig at the University of California, ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , ... at this year’s Bio-IT World Conference and Expo in Boston May 23-25 ... 4.0 solution. The Anzo Smart Data Lake is also a finalist for the ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Cancer diagnostics and pathology ... B2 at the Association for Pathology Informatics Annual Summit at the ... demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation Portal, Inspirata will present research it ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... The University City Science ... technologies ripe for commercialization, and who are affiliated with the 21 partner academic ... proposals. QED, now in its tenth round, is the first multi-institutional proof-of-concept program ...
Breaking Biology Technology: