Aged Rats Exhibit Altered Behavior-Induced Oscillatory Activity, Place Cell Firing Rates, and Spatial Information Content in the CA1 Region of the Hippocampus

Lindsey M. Crown, Daniel T. Gray, Lesley A. Schimanski, Carol A. Barnes, Stephen L. Cowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hippocampal gamma and theta oscillations are associated with mnemonic and navigational processes and adapt to changes in the behavioral state of an animal to optimize spatial information processing. It has been shown that locomotor activity modulates gamma and theta frequencies in rats, although how age alters this modulation has not been well studied. Here, we examine gamma and theta local-field potential and place cell activity in the hippocampus CA1 region of young and old male rats as they performed a spatial eye-blink conditioning task across 31d. Although mean gamma frequency was similar in both groups, gamma frequency increased with running speed at a slower rate in old animals. By contrast, theta frequencies scaled with speed similarly in both groups but were lower across speeds in old animals. Although these frequencies scaled equally well with deceleration and speed, acceleration was less correlated with gamma frequency in both age groups. Additionally, spike phase-locking to gamma, but not theta, was greater in older animals. Finally, aged rats had reduced within-field firing rates but greater spatial information per spike within the field. These data support a strong relationship between locomotor behavior and local-field potential activity and suggest that age significantly affects this relationship. Furthermore, observed changes in CA1 place cell firing rates and information content lend support to the hypothesis that age may result in more general and context-invariant hippocampal representations over more detailed information. These results may explain the observation that older adults tend to recall the gist of an experience rather than the details.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4505-4516
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume42
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Keywords

  • cross-frequency coupling
  • gamma
  • hippocampus
  • oscillation
  • place cell
  • theta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Aged Rats Exhibit Altered Behavior-Induced Oscillatory Activity, Place Cell Firing Rates, and Spatial Information Content in the CA1 Region of the Hippocampus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this