Vol 6, Issue 4, November 2019

Slow Progress with the Most Widely Used Animal Model:Ten Years of Metacognition Research in Rats, 2009-2019


Templer, V. L. (2019). Slow progress with the most widely used animal model: Ten years of metacognition research in rats, 2009-2019. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 6(4), 273-277. https://doi.org/10.26451/abc.


Until recently, demonstrations of metacognition in primates have been frequent and robust, while in rodents they have been few and equivocal. However, the past few years have seen a change in this trend with the introduction of novel methods to determine whether metacognitive responding is governed by internal or external sources of stimulus control in rats. Such studies suggest that like primates, rats can indeed use internal assessment of memory strengths to guide metacognitive responding. Strong behavioral paradigms suitable for rodents support the development of easily-accessible animal models for the neurobiology of metamemory and translational studies on diseases of memory. They also allow for a more complete comparative study of the evolution of metacognition, as the presence of this ability in rodents would suggest that metacognition evolved ~80 rather than ~25 million years ago.


Metamemory, Memory awareness, Monitoring, Declarative memory, Explicit memory, Rodent