Spatial learning impairments in aged rats trained with a salient configuration of stimuli

Mary Ann Pelleymounter, Mary Y. Smith, Michela Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aged animals are impaired in many maze learning tasks, suggesting that they may have a spatial learning deficit. Alternatively, declining sensory/perceptual faculties in aged animals may impede their ability to use complex arrangements of Stimuli that are necessary for spatial learning. To test this possibility, we conducted place learning in the Morris water maze in the presence of a very simple and salient configuration of Stimuli that consisted of a black plexiglass sheet, subtending an arc of 110° around the inside wall of the water maze. In Experiment 1, place learning in young rats was guided by this configuration of Stimuli. In Experiment 2, a prominent place-learning deficit in aged rats was observed when animals were trained with this configuration. Thus, the place-learning impairment in aged animals may not be confined to perceptual deficits that decrease an animal’s ability to use complex configurations of stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-254
Number of pages7
JournalPsychobiology
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

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Learning
Aptitude
Maze Learning
Water
Polymethyl Methacrylate
Spatial Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Spatial learning impairments in aged rats trained with a salient configuration of stimuli. / Pelleymounter, Mary Ann; Smith, Mary Y.; Gallagher, Michela.

In: Psychobiology, Vol. 15, No. 3, 1987, p. 248-254.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pelleymounter, Mary Ann ; Smith, Mary Y. ; Gallagher, Michela. / Spatial learning impairments in aged rats trained with a salient configuration of stimuli. In: Psychobiology. 1987 ; Vol. 15, No. 3. pp. 248-254.
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