A within-subject experimental design using an object location task in rats

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Abstract

Object place recognition is a prominent method used to investigate spatial memory in rodents. This object place recognition memory forms the basis of the object location task. This paper provides an extensive protocol to guide the establishment of an object location task with the option of up to four repetitions using the same cohort of rats. Both weak and strong encoding protocols can be used to study short-and long-term spatial memories of varying strength and to enable the implementation of relevant memory-inhibiting or-enhancing manipulations. In addition, repetition of the test with the counterbalancing presented here allows the combination of results from two or more tests for within-subject comparison to reduce variability between rats. This method helps to increase statistical power and is strongly recommended, particularly when running experiments that produce high variation in individual behavior. Finally, implementation of the repeated object location task increases the efficiency of studies that involve surgical procedures by saving time and labor.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere62458
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Volume2021
Issue171
ISSN1940-087X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

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