Evidence for sophisticated memory in rats

Benmitch [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

Memory is a complex phenomenon involving the encoding, storage and retrieval of information. Different types of memory can be defined by the particulars of these steps and of the information in question. For example, ‘source’ memory is a representation of the origin of a piece of information or the conditions surrounding its acquisition. Source memory is an essential component of ‘episodic’ memory, which enables differentiation of one event from another. Impairments in source memory occur in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Source and episodic forms of memory have typically been considered exclusively human, but new research from scientists at Indiana University (Bloomington) shows for the first time that source memory exists in rats.

Lab Anim. (NY) 42, 110 (2013).
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