Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older animals unable to distinguish similar-looking objects

Date:
December 1, 2010
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Older rats appeared unable to discriminate between objects with similar features, behavior comparable to that of elderly people, who often have memory and perception troubles. The older rats' actions may be similar to those of young rats with damage in specific brain regions, according to a new study.

Older rats appeared unable to discriminate between objects with similar features, behavior comparable to that of elderly people, who often have memory and perception troubles. The older rats' actions may be similar to those of young rats with damage in specific brain regions, according to a new study.

Related Articles


These results were presented at Neuroscience 2010, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in San Diego.

"A symptom of aging is a decreased ability to distinguish something novel from something familiar," said study author Sara Burke, PhD, of the University of Arizona. "Our experiment implies that this might be caused by age-related changes in the perirhinal cortex, an area of the temporal lobe associated with both memory and perception."

As rats age, they display some of the same cognitive impairments that humans do. Young rats are quick to discern new objects, exploring unfamiliar things for several seconds more than items they have previously encountered. But while old rats can classify unfamiliar and familiar items over the short term, they become confused as time passes, and eventually act as though unknown objects are well-known. In this study, researchers explored how older rats would react to known objects that are similar but distinct in appearance.

Burke and her team compared the behavior of old rats with young. Each rat was first given two identical objects and was then presented with either an identical object, or an object similar but distinctly different from the previous ones. Only the young rats extensively explored the novel object. The older rats explored the alike and unalike objects for the same amount of time, indicating they were unable to tell them apart.

"Because their behavior was reminiscent of rats with perirhinal cortical lesions, it is possible that this behavioral deficit is caused by age-related changes targeted that area of the brain," Burke said. "Such alterations could contribute to the increased incidence of false memories experienced by elderly individuals."

Research was supported by the National Institute on Aging, the McKnight Brain Research Foundation, and the Arizona Undergraduate Biology Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Older animals unable to distinguish similar-looking objects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115155902.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2010, December 1). Older animals unable to distinguish similar-looking objects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115155902.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Older animals unable to distinguish similar-looking objects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115155902.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins