Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology

, Volume 48, Issue 8, pp 1014–1018 | Cite as

Activity Patterns in Neurons in the Retrosplenial Area of the Cortex in Operant Food-Procuring Behavior in Rats of Different Ages

  • A. G. GorkinEmail author
  • E. A. Kuzina
  • N. P. Ivlieva
  • O. A. Solov’eva
  • Yu. I. Aleksandrov

Neuron spike activity was recorded in the retrosplenial area of the cortex during execution of acquired cyclic operant food-procuring behavior (COFPB) in adult (8–12 months) and elderly (20–27 months) Long-Evans rats. As compared with adult rats, elderly animals showed a significant decrease in the proportion of neurons specialized for COFPB. The normalized discharge frequency of all neurons in elderly animals during execution of basic food-procuring acts was significantly greater than that in adults. Elderly rats showed significantly fewer pairs of acts with significant differences in discharge frequency than adults, indicating that neuron activity on execution of COFPB was more uniform. These data indicate that in old age, learning involves less “extension” of existing experience due to formation of new neuronal specializations than in earlier stages of an individual’s life and that the internal system structure of the newly formed behavior is more “homogeneous.”


aging rats individual neuron activity neuron specialization behavioral act system retrosplenial cortex 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • A. G. Gorkin
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. A. Kuzina
    • 1
  • N. P. Ivlieva
    • 3
  • O. A. Solov’eva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yu. I. Aleksandrov
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Shvyrkov Psychophysiology LaboratoryInstitute of Psychology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Functional Neurochemistry LaboratoryAnokhin Research Institute of Normal PhysiologyMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Department of PsychophysiologyState Academic University of the Humanitarian SciencesMoscowRussia

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