Spatial learning and memory in animal models and humans

Gwendolen E. Haley, Jacob Raber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Spatial learning and memory requiring navigation has been widely assessed as a part of traditional rodent cognitive testing. Significantly fewer studies have examined spatial learning and memory requiring navigation in nonhuman primates and humans. While rodent spatial tasks utilize navigation and an allocentric frame of reference, nonhuman primate and human spatial tasks often utilize an egocentric frame of reference, lacking a navigational component. Due to this difference, cross species comparisons cannot be easily made. In rodent models, both spatial learning and memory and object recognition tasks requiring navigation are used to assess hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Furthermore, addition of a spatial component to the traditional object recognition task in the mouse and human model has increased the sensitivity of the task to detect cognitive changes. Based on hippocampus-dependent cognitive tests used in our mouse studies, we developed spatial learning and memory tests requiring navigation for nonhuman primates (Spatial Foodport Maze) and humans (Memory Island) as well as the object recognition test Novel Image Novel Location (NINL) for humans. Here, we discuss these translational cognitive tests that are being used to bridge the gap between object recognition and spatial learning and memory tasks across species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnimal Models of Behavioral Analysis
EditorsJacob Raber
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0893-2336
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6045


  • Spatial learning and memory
  • hippocampus
  • human
  • mice
  • nonhuman primate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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