Running head: ROLES OF HIPPOCAMPUS AND CAUDATE NUCLEUS
Roles of the Hippocampus and Caudate Nucleus in Place
and Response Learning
! The ﬁeld of animal learning and navigation is currently split into two theories. On
one hand, psychologists such as Edward Tolman and his 1932 study of rat-maze learn-
ing (Tolman, 1932) suggest the existence of a cognitive mapping system where animal
learning is based around the external surroundings that an animal uses to navigate.
"This reliance on a cognitive map for navigation is better known as place learning." Con-
versely, psychologists such as Edward Thorndike (1932) and Edwin Guthrie (1930s) be-
lieved that animals learn how to move to a speciﬁc location through the repetition/
conditioning of muscle movements and cardinal directions, instead of depending on the
external environmental for navigational cues (Cole, et al., 2007). This type of learning is
also known as response learning. " Solving this controversy would give a greater insight
as to how the human memory functions in navigational learning, as well as understand-
ing of the existence of relationships between speciﬁc brain structures. "Building off the
work of previous experiments (Packard & McGaugh, 1996) (Throndike, 1932) (Tolman,
1932), this experiment investigated the relationship of the learning mechanisms of lab
rats with their hippocampus/caudate nucleus in a t-maze.
! The main objective of the experiment was to determine whether the differential
roles and surgical lesion of the brain regions (hippocampus and caudate nucleus) could
answer the question of place vs. response learning in animals (Packard & McGaugh,
1996)." We hypothesized that the rats with lesioned brain structures would show a clear
preference to one type of learning dependent on their condition across the experiment.
Roles of Hippocampus and Caudate Nucleus 2
Additionally, we also hypothesized that the experiment would further solve the...