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Neurobiol Aging. 1995 Mar-Apr;16(2):149-60.

Age-related spatial reference and working memory deficits assessed in the water maze.

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1
Department of Psychology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.

Abstract

Aged rats have spatial memory deficits relative to young rats. The extent of these deficits in intermediate-aged rats is not well established. The present study examined the pattern of age-related changes in spatial reference and working memory in four ages of Fischer-344 rats. Place discrimination (PD) in the Morris water maze measured spatial reference memory. Repeated acquisition (RA), a discrimination in which the escape platform location varied from session to session, measured spatial working memory. Fischer-344 rats, 4 months, 11 months, 17 months, and 24 months of age, were tested. Compared to 4-month-olds, 24-month-olds were significantly impaired on all six PD measures of performance, 17 months were significantly impaired on five PD measures, and 11 months were significantly impaired on only one PD measure. Only 24-month-olds had a significant working memory impairment in RA relative to 4 months. Reference and working memory measures were distinct as assessed by a principal components analysis. The results indicate a nonlinear age-related spatial memory decline in Fischer-344 rats from 4 to 24 months of age.

PMID:
7777133
DOI:
10.1016/0197-4580(94)00155-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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