We investigated changes in learning and memory in aged rats, in relation to motor function and emotional behavior. Male Kbl Wistar aged rats (108- weeks-old) were divided into two groups, memory impaired and non-impaired, based on performance during six training trials in the Morris water maze task. Aged rats with a goal latency longer than the mean plus the 99% confidence limit of young rats, were regarded as memory impaired, whereas those with a goal latency within the range of the 99% confidence limit of the mean of young rats, were considered as memory non-impaired. Although the performance of the memory impaired aged rats in the standard test of the Morris water maze improved after six re-training trials to the level of the non-impaired aged rats and young rats, working memory impairment was evident. There were no differences in motor function and emotional behavior between the impaired and non-impaired aged rats. These results suggest that deficits of learning and memory in memory impaired aged rats can be dissociated from changes in motor function and emotional behavior.
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