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ERIC Number: EJ913384
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
The Canine Sand Maze: An Appetitive Spatial Memory Paradigm Sensitive to Age-Related Change in Dogs
Salvin, Hannah E.; McGreevy, Paul D.; Sachdev, Perminder S.; Valenzuela, Michael J.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v95 n1 p109-118 Jan 2011
Aged dogs exhibit a spectrum of cognitive abilities including a syndrome similar to Alzheimer's disease. A major impediment to research so far has been the lack of a quick and accurate test of visuospatial memory appropriate for community-based animals. We therefore report on the development and validation of the Canine Sand Maze. A 4.5-m-diameter circular pool was filled with sand and powdered food reward mix to a depth of 10 cm. Dogs were given 4 habituation and 16 learning trials which alternated a food reward being half (control trials) or fully-buried (acquisition trials) in a fixed location. After a 90-min break, a probe trial was conducted. Cognitively normal, aged (greater than 8 years, n = 11) and young (1-4 years, n = 11), breed-matched dogs were compared. After correction for differences in control trials, average probe times were 2.97 and 10.81 s for young and aged dogs, respectively. In the probe trial, both groups spent significantly more time in the target quadrant but there was a trend for young dogs to cross a 1 m[superscript 2] annulus zone around the buried reward more frequently (2.6 times) than aged dogs (1.5 times). Test-retest reliability in a subset of young dogs (n = 5) was high. On the basis of these findings, the Canine Sand Maze is presented as a quick, sensitive and nonaversive tool for assessing spatial learning and reference memory in dogs. (Contains 7 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A