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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2008 May;89(4):480-8. Epub 2007 Sep 12.

Emotional responses and memory performance of middle-aged CD1 mice in a 3D maze: effects of low infrared light.

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University of Sunderland, Sunderland Pharmacy School, Wharncliffe Street, Sunderland SR1 3SD, UK.


Non-thermal near infra-red (IR) has been shown to have many beneficial photobiological effects on a range of cell types, including neurons. In the present study, a pretreatment with a daily 6 min exposure to IR1072 for 10 days yielded a number of significant behavioral effects on middle-aged female CD-1 mice (12-months) tested in a 3D-maze. Middle-aged mice show significant deficits in a working memory test and IR treatment reversed this deficit. Interestingly, the IR treated middle-aged group despite making less memory errors than sham middle-aged group spent longer time in different parts of the maze than both the young group (3-months) and sham-middle-aged group (12-months). Young mice appeared more anxious than middle-aged mice in the first sessions of the test. Exposure to IR appeared to have no significant effects upon exploratory activity or anxiety responses. However, it elicited significant effects on working memory, with the IR middle-aged mice being more considerate in their decision making, which results in an overall improved cognitive performance which is comparable to that of young CD-1 mice. The present study describes a novel method for assessing emotional responses and memory performance in a 3D spatial navigation task and demonstrates the validity of our new all-in-one test and its sensitivity to ageing and non-invasive beneficial IR treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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