Passive and active place avoidance as a tool of spatial memory research in rats

Jose M. Cimadevilla, Yulij Kaminsky, Andre Fenton, Jan Bures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A modified model of the arena described by Bures et al. (Bures J, Fenton AA, Kaminsky Y, Zinyuk L. Place cells and place navigation, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1997a;94:343-350) was applied to the place learning of adult male rats in two different avoidance paradigms. In the passive avoidance task rats exploring a stationary circular arena had to avoid a 60°sector entering of which was punished by mild footshocks. Intramaze as well as extramaze cues could be used for adequate solution of this task. In the active avoidance paradigm rats were trained to avoid a room frame defined sector (e.g. North-East) of a slowly rotating arena the movement of which forced the animals to rely on extramaze cues and to ignore intramaze information. Rats had to find an active solution of the task since otherwise they were passively transported into the room frame defined punished zone. The suitability of these tasks for testing spatial abilities of rats is discussed. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-164
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 30 2000


  • Arena frame
  • Place avoidance
  • Rat
  • Room frame
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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