AuthorKoutia, Adele Janette
AdvisorBarnes, Carol A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAs animals age, there are functional alterations in synaptic connectivity and plasticity within the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex. These changes are associated with age-related spatial memory deficits. Importantly, there is evidence that at least in some experimental situations aged rats may rely on self-motion information more than external visual cues for navigation. In order to better understand differences in the degree to which old and young animals are able to utilize external cues to update their internal representations of space a novel behavioral apparatus was developed to allow for complete and immediate control of all visual cues in the environment. Both old and young rats were able to locate a goal location after all orienting cues in the apparatus were rotated instantaneously. Unexpectedly, aged animals tended to change their behavior to realign with the rotated cues more reliably than did young animals. Young rats tended to visit the area surrounding the goal location, but appeared to improve over time.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science