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Testing an idea (1 of 3)

Image caption:
Psychologist Edward Tolman wanted to know how rats successfully navigate their surroundings — for example, a maze containing a hidden reward. Would they build mental maps of the maze as they investigated it or would they learn to navigate the maze through stimulus-response?

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Testing an idea (2 of 3)
Tolman and his colleagues trained rats in a maze which offered them many different tunnels to enter first. One of the tunnels twisted and turned but consistently led to the reward, and the rats quickly learned to go down that tunnel.

Testing an idea (3 of 3)
When the entrance to the reward tunnel was blocked, most of the rats picked a tunnel that led in the direction of the food, supporting the idea that rats navigate using something like a mental map.

 


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