Spatial and emotional memory in aged rats: A behavioral-statistical analysis

J. A. Bergado, W. Almaguer, Y. Rojas, V. Capdevila, J. U. Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Age-related impairment in synaptic plasticity, like long-term potentiation (LTP), has been repeatedly reported. We had shown that late stages of LTP in the rat dentate gyrus can be modulated by emotional factors, but this is impaired by aging. In the present study we have searched for possible impairments in emotional and spatial memory tasks that may correspond to the impaired reinforcement observed at the cellular level. We have trained young and aged animals in a battery of tests: exploration (open field) object recognition, anxiety (plus maze) fear conditioning and spatial memory (Morris' water maze (MWM)). The open field, anxiety, and novelty recognition showed no age differences except a reduced velocity in aged rats. Emotional and contextual memories were preserved, but acquisition was slightly impaired. Age-dependent impairments appeared in spatial memory, evaluated in terms of latency and distance to reach the hidden escape platform in the water maze task, but these were not related with impairments in other tests, in particular there was no relation between spatial and emotional memory impairments. Age-related impairments in different paradigms were caused by different independent factors that did not correlated with each other.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-269
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Jan 13 2011


  • Aging
  • Emotion
  • Emotional memory
  • Memory
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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