Learning to cope with two different food distributions: The performance of house mice (Mus musculus domesticus)

Paola Valsecchi, Alessandro Bartolomucci, Marco Aversano, Elisabetta Visalberghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Search abilities of mice (Mus musculus domesticus) were evaluated using an arena closed by a ceiling in which 9 food sources (which mice could reach standing on their hind legs) could be arranged according to 2 configurations: a 3 × 3 square matrix and 3 clusters each containing 3 food sources. Testing conditions prevented olfactory and visual cues from being left after visits to food sources, and mice were able to choose alternative routes between food sources. Results showed that mice were more efficient with the matrix than with the cluster configuration. Sex differences were observed: Females improved their performance with both configurations, whereas males improved only with the matrix one. Mice did not develop evident search strategies that would minimize task complexity. Comparison with data published on capuchin monkeys revealed differences, with monkeys performing better with the cluster configuration than with the matrix and applying searching strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-280
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)
Volume114
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

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