Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wallace, Douglas G.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Animal orientation--Psychological aspects; Orientation (Psychology); Space perception; Time perception; Rats--Physiology


Spatial orientation, or an animal's ability to navigate through space, is dependent on multiple specialized neural processes. Spatial disorientation, or loss of the ability to navigate through one's environment, often stems from damage to one or more of the neural systems that sustain these processes. Limited research has investigated the role of the dorsocentral striatum (DCS) in relation to spatial orientation. The current study evaluated the role of the DCS in egocentric processing (processing information relative to the self). Long-Evans rats received unilateral NMDA lesions of the DCS followed by testing in the food protection task. Performance in this task is mediated by the motivation of the animal to eat the food item, its perception of the time required to eat the food item, its sensory ability to process egocentric cues, and its motor ability to evade an incoming conspecific. Unilateral DCS lesions were shown to impact both sensory and temporal characteristics of food protection behaviors. This research provides the foundation for developing of a novel assessment of responding to the egocentric reference frame.


Advisors: Douglas G. Wallace.||Committee members: Joseph L. Cheatwood; Angela Grippo; Leslie Matuszewich.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


v, 81 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type