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Differences in learning and memory between middle-aged female and male rats

, , María Victoria Oberholzer, Federico Filippin, Diana Alicia Jerusalinsky
Published: 15 April 2022

Abstract: We observed differences in cognitive functions between middle-aged female and male Wistar rats. Both (like youngsters) discriminated new versus familiar objects, showing similar short- and long-term memory (STM and LTM, respectively). Only females show robust LTM for new location of an object. Both successfully form LTM of inhibitory avoidance, though males appeared to be amnesic for memory persistence. Habituation, locomotion, horizontal exploration, “stereotypies,” fear, and anxiety-like behavior were similar for both, while vertical exploration was significantly higher in middle-aged and younger females. Therefore, sex-dependent differences in some cognitive functions and behaviors must be considered when designing and interpreting learning and memory studies.
Keywords: middle aged / behaviors / memory / LTM / females / differences in cognitive / cognitive functions

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