The Habituation stage is finally over, so this week was all about “Linear Track Training.” Rats are trained once a day for 20 minutes. Training takes place on a linear track where a reward is given at both ends of the track. The rat must run the entire length of the track to receive a reward, and no reward is given for consecutive repeat visits to the same food dish. While the animal is being trained, their yoked pair observes from the pot. When a rat reaches learning criteria (30 laps in 20 minutes, for three sessions in a row) training is stopped temporarily for that rat while his yoked pair continues to be trained. The importance of training the rats on the linear track is to get them used to learning a task for a reward before we begin the “real” stages of the research experiment pertaining to the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex circuits.