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Abstract #1729

A Virtual Radial Arm Maze for the Study of Multiple Memory Systems

Dongrong Xu1,2, Xuejun Hao1,2, Zhishun Wang1,2, Yunsuo Duan1,2, Rachel Marsh1,2, Shan Yu1,2, Bradley S. Peterson1,2

1Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA; 2New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA

An increasing number of functional brain imaging studies are employing computer- based virtual reality (VR) for the study of dynamic brain activity during the performance of high-level psychological and cognitive tasks. We report the development of a standardized VR radial arm maze that adapts for human use in a scanning environment the same general experimental design of the Winstay and Winshift tasks that have been used with remarkable effectiveness for the study of multiple memory systems in rodents. The software platform is independent of computer hardware and operating system that aims to provide shared access to this technology by the research community. The details of its design and implementation are reported, and the system is now available for downloading for research and test purposes.