In young rats, the pattern of neuronal ensemble activity correlations expressed among hippocampal pyramidal cells during behavior persists during subsequent quiet wakefulness and slow-wave sleep, a process that may facilitate the consolidation of episodic memories. The present study explored the hypothesis that age-related changes in this process might contribute to memory impairments observed during normal aging. Neuronal activity was recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells, and in both young and old rats, there was a strong similarity between the resting epoch activity patterns and those from the preceding behavior epoch. This similarity was strongest during sharp-wave events. There were no detectable differences in the reactivation process or the decay rate between the young and old age groups. Thus, age differences in spatial memory do not appear to be explainable by differences in the spontaneous reactivation of familiar patterns within the hippocampus during the immediate postbehavior period.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience