SCHLEICH Cristian Eric
congresos y reuniones científicas
Short-term effects of predator stress on the spatial working and reference memory in the tala´s tuco-tuco (Ctenomys talarum)
MASTRANGELO, M.; SCHLEICH, C.E.; ZENUTO, R.R.
Congreso; International Society for Comparative Psychology; 2008
International Society for Comparative Psychology
Spatial memory is a cognitive function that can be affected under the stress response in rodents, but most studies have been conducted on surface-dwelling species. Here we used Ctenomys talarum, a subterranean rodent that inhabits complex burrow systems, as a study model. This species presents a highly developed spatial ability and individuals are regularly exposed to predatory stressors while foraging on the surface. We examined the consequences of a brief exposure to predator cues on the spatial working and reference memory performance. We trained wild caught individuals (32 males, 36 females) in a six radial arm or a longitudinal maze (spatial working and reference memory tasks). Once the animals reached a memory performance criterion, they were exposed to a direct predator cue (immobilization), an indirect predator cue (cat urine) or both cues combined, and their performance was evaluated two minutes later. The exposure to direct and combined predatory cues impaired spatial reference memory, increasing both the latency and number of errors during the test. Spatial working memory was negatively affected only in the latency after the combined presentation of both predator cues. Keeping spatial working memory during a predators attack on the surface would be important for C. talarum survival.