Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Animal Learning & Behavior 1981, 9 (4), 575-580. Copyright 1981 Psychonomic Society. Used by permission.


The resource-distribution hypothesis states that the ability of an animal to remember the spatial location of past events is related to the typical distribution of food resources for the species. It appears to predict that Norway rats would perform better than domestic pigeons in tasks requiring spatial event memory. Pigeons, tested in an eight-arm radial maze, exhibited no more than half of the memory capacity observed in rats in the same apparatus and may not have used spatial memory at all. The results were interpreted as supporting the hypothesis.