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Gerard Martin

B.Sc.(Hons.), M.Sc. Memorial, Ph.D. Australian National University


Office: SN1055
Phone: (709) 864-3550
Affiliations: Behavioural Neuroscience

Research Interests

Gerard Martin

My long term goal is to provide behavioral analyses and theories that allow us to understand the learning deficits that are produced by damage to brain structures. My recent work has focused upon the processes underlying spatial navigation.

The ability to navigate throughout the environment is important for the survival of most animals. To this end animals have developed sophisticated navigational strategies. My research analyzes the components of these strategies and examines the neurobiological instantiation of these strategies. My research, then, contributes to our understanding of one of the most fundamental cognitive processes in animals, spatial knowledge. It also enables us to understand a variety of animal behavioral tests that are used to model learning and memory deficits in humans.


Kouwenberg, A-L., Walsh, C.J., and Martin, G.M. (2009) Episodic-like memory in crossbred Yucatan minipigs (Sus scrofa). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 117, 165-172.

Walsh, S.J., Harley, C.W., Skinner, D.M, Corbett, D., and Martin, G.M. (2008) CA1 ischemic injury does not affect the ability of Mongolian gerbils to solve response, direction, or place problems. Brain Research, 1187, 194-200.

Horne, M.R., Martin, G.M., Harley, C.W., Skinner, D.M. (2007) Where am I? Distal cue use requires sensitivity to start location change in the rat. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 33, 92-97.

Walsh, S., Skinner, D.M. and Martin, G.M. (2007) Location serves as a conditional cue when harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) solve object discrimination reversal problems. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61, 44-53.

Martin, G.M., Evans, J.H., Harley, C.W., and Skinner, D.M. (2005) Lost in time: rats are unable to return to a start location that varies. Connection Science, 17, 127-144.

Stringer, K.G., Martin, G.M., and Skinner, D.M. (2005) The effects of hippocampal lesions on response, direction, and place learning in rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 119, 946-952.

Mansour, A.H., Babstock, D.M., Penney, J.H., Martin, G.M., McLean , J.H., Harley, C.W. (2003) Novel objects in a holeboard probe the role of the locus coerulus in curiosity: Support for two modes of attention in the rat. Behaviorial Neuroscience, 117, 621-631.

House, D. J., Squires, A.S., Martin, G.M.., and Skinner, D.M. (2003) Perirhinal cortex lesions impair context aversion learning. Learning and Memory, 10, 161-167.

Skinner, D.M., Etchegary, C.M., Ekert-Maret, E., Evans, J., Harley, C.W., and Martin, G.M. (2003) An analysis of response, direction, and place dispositions on an open field. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 29, 3-13.

Martin, G.M., Walker , K.M., and Skinner, D.M. (2003) A single unstable visual cue impairs spatial learning in a water maze. Learning and Motivation, 34, 87-103.

Astur RS, Klein RL, Mumby DG, Protz DK, Sutherland RJ, Martin GM. (2002). A role for olfaction in object recognition by normal and hippocampal-damaged rats. Neurobiol Learn Mem Jul;78(1):186-91.

Skinner DM, Martin GM, Scanlon CJ, Thorpe CM, Barry J, Evans JH, Harley CW. (2001). A two-platform task reveals a deficit in the ability of rats to return to the start location in the water maze. Behav Neurosci Feb;115(1):220-8

Harley CW, Martin GM, Skinner DM, Squires A. (2001). The moving fire hydrant experiment: movement of objects to a new location reelicits marking in rats. Neurobiol Learn Mem May;75(3):303-9

Huxter JR, Thorpe CM, Martin GM, Harley CW. (2001). Spatial problem solving and hippocampal place cell firing in rats: control by an internal sense of direction carried across environments. Behav Brain Res Aug 27;123(1):37-48

Hynes CA , Martin GM, Harley CW, Huxter JR, Evans JH. (2000). Multiple points of entry into a circular enclosure prevent place learning despite normal vestibular orientation and cue arrays: evidence for map resetting. J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process Jan;26(1):64-73

Harley CW, Martin GM. (1999). Open field motor patterns and object marking, but not object sniffing, are altered by ibotenate lesions of the hippocampus. Neurobiol Learn Mem Nov;72(3):202-14

Martin GM, Harley CW, Smith AR , Hoyles ES, Hynes CA. (1997). Spatial disorientation blocks reliable goal location on a plus maze but does not prevent goal location in the Morris maze. J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process Apr;23(2):183-93