Spatial cognition in mice and rats: similarities and differences in brain and behavior

  • Hok Vincent
  • Poucet Bruno
  • Duvelle Eléonore
  • Save Etienne
  • Sargolini Francesca

ART

The increasing use of mice models in cognitive tasks that were originally designed for rats raises crucial questions about cross-species comparison in the study of spatial cognition. The present review focuses on the major neuroethological differences existing between mice and rats, with particular attention given to the neurophysiological basis of space coding. While little difference is found in the basic properties of space representation in these two species, it appears that the stability of this representation changes more drastically over time in mice than in rats.We consider several hypotheses dealing with attentional, perceptual, and genetic aspects and offer some directions for future research that might help in deciphering hippocampal function in learning and memory processes.