THE EFFECT OF CAFFEINE ON SHORT-TERM SPATIAL LEARNING IN PERIPLANETA AMERICANA

Evan D Broder, Kristen M Cattoi, William B Clinkscales, Taylor S Triana

Abstract


The American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, has been used extensively in recent years to study aspects of the complex vertebrate nervous system as a simple and accessible invertebrate model. This experiment examined the effects of caffeine on short-term spatial learning in cockroaches using a modified Barnes maze. Prior to every trial, the treatment group was injected with a caffeine solution and the control group was injected with a saline solution. The amount of time required for the cockroach to complete the maze during the initial learning trial was recorded. One hour later, the amount of time required for the subjects to complete a second memory trial was also recorded.

A one-tailed t-test between the individual trial times for the control group established that learning had occurred. A two-tailed t¬-test between the individual trial times for the treatment group showed no significant difference. A t-test of means compared the difference in maze completion times between the groups and proved there was a significant difference. Therefore, caffeine did not positively affect short-term spatial learning in cockroaches.

Keywords


Cockroaches; Caffeine; Periplaneta Americana; Spatial Learning

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15695/vurj.v6i0.2907

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