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ERIC Number: EJ814954
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0160-2896
Domain-Specific and Domain-General Learning Factors Are Expressed in Genetically Heterogeneous CD-1 Mice
Kolata, Stefan; Light, Kenneth; Matzel, Louis D.
Intelligence, v36 n6 p619-629 Nov-Dec 2008
It has been established that both domain-specific (e.g. spatial) as well as domain-general (general intelligence) factors influence human cognition. However, the separation of these processes has rarely been attempted in studies using laboratory animals. Previously, we have found that the performances of outbred mice across a wide range of learning tasks correlate in such a way that a single factor can explain 30-44% of the variance between animals. This general learning factor is in some ways qualitatively and quantitatively analogous to general intelligence in humans. The complete structure of cognition in mice, however, has not been explored due to the limited sample sizes of our previous analyses. Here we report a combined analysis from 241 CD-1 mice tested in five primary learning tasks, and a subset of mice tested in two additional learning tasks. At least two (possibly three) of the seven learning tasks placed explicit demands on spatial and/or hippocampus-dependent processing abilities. Consistent with previous findings, we report a robust general factor influencing learning in mice that accounted for 38% of the variance across tasks. In addition, a domain-specific factor was found to account for performance on that subset of tasks that shared a dependence on hippocampal and/or spatial processing. These results provide further evidence for a general learning/cognitive factor in genetically heterogeneous mice. Furthermore (and similar to human cognitive performance), these results suggest a hierarchical structure to cognitive processes in this genetically heterogeneous species. (Contains 3 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A