Novel object recognition is not affected by age despite age-related brain changes
Age-related memory impairments show a progressive decline across lifespan. Studies have demonstrated equivocal results in biological and behavioral outcomes of aging. Thus, in the present study we examined the novel object recognition task at a delay period that has been shown to be impaired in aged rats of two different strains. Moreover, we used a strain of rats, Fisher 344XBrown Norway, which have published age-related biological changes in the brain. Young (10 month old) and aged (28 month old) rats were tested on a standard novel object recognition task with a 50-minute delay period. The data showed that young and aged rats in the strain we used performed equally well on the novel object recognition task and that both young and old rats demonstrated a righthanded side preference for the novel object. Our data suggested that novel object recognition is not impaired in aged rats although both young and old rats have a demonstrated side preference. Thus, it may be that genetic differences across strains contribute to the equivocal results in behavior, and genetic variance likely influences the course of cognitive aging.