Complex Maze Learning in Rodents

Progress and Potential for Modeling Age-Related Memory Dysfunction
  • Donald K. Ingram
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


An extensive body of research findings supports the view that normal aging in humans is associated with a defined dysfunction in memory processing. When sensorimotor performance requirements of tasks can be equated across age groups, the most salient age-related change appears in the ability to use secondary memory systems which represent the unlimited permanent store of newly acquired information (Poon, 1985). Age differences in sensory memory, which refers to the brief storage of sensory information; in primary memory, which refers to the temporary, limited capacity repository available for immediate recall; and in tertiary memory, which refers to memory for remote events, appear less robust (Poon, 1985). Much of the age-related impairment in retrieval of information from secondary memory can be attributed to deficient encoding processes, including organizational skills, visual imagination, depth of processing, and attention, as well as problems of equating motivational factors (Kausler, 1982; Poon, 1985). In terms of a storage-deficit hypothesis of age-related memory dysfunction, reviews of the literature have indicated that age differences in forgetting rates are minimal or nonexistent when effort is made to equate the original level of learning (Poon, 1985).


Secondary Memory Acquisition Training Maze Learning Nucleus Basalis Magnocellularis Straight Runway 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald K. Ingram
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Physiology and Genetics Section, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Gerontology Research CenterNational Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Francis Scott Key Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA

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