Virtual human analogs to rodent spatial pattern separation and completion memory tasks

Meera Paleja*, Todd A. Girard, Bruce K. Christensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Spatial pattern separation (SPS) and spatial pattern completion (SPC) have played an increasingly important role in computational and rodent literatures as processes underlying associative memory. SPS and SPC are complementary processes, allowing the formation of unique representations and the reconstruction of complete spatial environments based on partial spatial information. We present two novel computerized navigational tasks as human analogs of well-established rat SPS and SPC tasks. Results from these tasks show that human participants are sensitive to increasing SPS and SPC demands. Specifically, memory accuracy decreased with decreasing separation distance between target and foil locations in the SPS task and with decreasing number of distal spatial cues in the SPC task. These tasks set the stage for valuable future directions, including the use of these tasks with imaging and clinical populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalLearning and Motivation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


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