Radial Arms Maze

Radial Arm Maze Task

This task is used primarily to measure spatial learning and memory.  Some versions of the task can be used to examine concurrently both working and reference memory.  Like the water maze, this task is sensitive to hippocampal function.  The task is designed to mimic natural foraging behaviors.


Subjects are placed in the center of an eight-arm radial maze.  Four randomly chosen arms are baited with food pellets in opaque containers.  The subject is given the opportunity to visit all the arms and collect all the available food pellets.  After a rentention delay, the subject is returned to the maze.  In win-stay conditions, the same four arms are baited, and the number of correct choices the subject makes in collecting the pellets is recorded. In win-shift conditions, the four arms NOT baited in the earlier trial are now baited, and the number of correct arm choices is recorded.  Each day, a new set of four arms is chosen randomly.

Radial Arm Maze Behavior