Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 352817
Title Two months make a difference in spatial orientation learning in very old hybrid Fischer 344 X Brown Norway (FBNF1) rats
Author(s) Staay, F.J. van der
Source Physiology and Behavior 87 (2006)4. - ISSN 0031-9384 - p. 659 - 665.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2005.12.013
Department(s) Livestock Research
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2006
Keyword(s) age-related decline - brown-norway rats - morris water maze - behavioral-assessment - cognitive deficits - memory - impairments - fischer-344 - performance - restriction
Abstract Age-related changes in cognitive performance may be more pronounced in the period near or exceeding the median life span. Therefore, we compared the acquisition of a Morris water escape task by two groups of very old Fischer344 × Brown Norway hybrid rats. The mean age difference between the two groups of rats (a 33- to 34-month-old group versus a 35- to 36-month-old group) was about 2 months. Both groups of rats initially had the same level of performance, but then the younger group learned to escape onto the submerged platform faster, swimming a shorter distance, than the older group. By the fifth acquisition session, the younger rats needed only half the time and swam a shorter distance before they reached the platform than the older rats. These differences in learning were not due to different locomotor abilities as both groups had a similar swimming speed. These results suggest that age-related changes in cognitive performance are indeed more pronounced in the period around the median life span. We also discussed different set-ups to perform cross-sectional age-comparison studies. If there are not sufficient animals from one batch, it may be worthwhile to combine animals from different batches per age group, provided that breeding, rearing, housing, and testing conditions are highly standardized
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