Behavioral reinforcement of long-term potentiation is impaired in aged rats with cognitive deficiencies

J. A. Bergado, W. Almaguer, J. Ravelo, J. C. Rosillo, J. U. Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Behavioral stimuli with emotional/motivational content can reinforce long-term potentiation in the dentate gyrus, if presented within a distinct time window. A similar effect can be obtained by stimulating the basolateral amygdala, a limbic structure related to emotions. We have previously shown that aging impairs amygdala-hippocampus interactions during long-term potentiation. In this report we show that behavioral reinforcement of long-term potentiation is also impaired in aged rats with cognitive deficits. While among young water-deprived animals drinking 15 min after induction of long-term potentiation leads to a significant prolongation of potentiation, cognitively impaired aged rats are devoid of such reinforcing effects. In contrast, a slight but statistically significant depression develops after drinking in this group of animals. We suggest that an impaired mechanism of emotional/motivational reinforcement of synaptic plasticity might be functionally related to the cognitive deficits shown by aged animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 5 2001


  • Aging
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Dentate gyrus
  • Learning
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Reinforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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