Assessment of spatial response initiation in the Morris water maze

Author/Creator ORCID




Towson University. Department of Psychology


Citation of Original Publication




Two facets of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are obsessions and compulsions. Compulsions are strong, maladaptive habit behaviors exhibited to reduce obsessions, or unwanted thoughts. Compulsions in OCD, in part, are a product of dysfunctional communication between the striatum/habit memory system and higher areas of cortex which creates strong habit responses that are unable to be inhibited. Successful behavioral rodent models for these strong compulsive habits have been created through overtraining and repeated trials. The present study intended to create a behavioral paradigm of compulsive checking behavior in rodents through rats receiving four, eight, and sixteen days of training on a platform location in the Morris water maze. Eight and sixteen days of training were intended to produce overtraining and spatial response initiation. Results are discussed in terms of the animals’ self-initiated spatial response towards a previously learned location after being placed in a novel location.