Sequence reactivation in the hippocampus is impaired in aged rats

Jason L. Gerrard, Sara N. Burke, Bruce L. McNaughton, Carol A. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The hippocampus is thought to coordinate memory consolidation by reactivating traces from behavioral experience when the brain is not actively processing new input. In fact, during slow-wave sleep, the patterns of CA1 pyramidal cell ensemble activity correlations are reactivated in both young and aged rats. In addition to correlated activity patterns, repetitive track running also creates a recurring sequence of pyramidal cell activity. The present study compared CA1 sequence activity pattern replay in young and old animals during rest periods after behavior. Whereas the young rats exhibited significant sequence reactivation, it was markedly impaired in the aged animals. When the spatial memory scores of all animals were compared with the degree of sequence reactivation, there was a significant correlation. The novel finding that weak replay of temporal patterns has behavioral consequences, strengthens the idea that reactivation processes are integral to memory consolidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7883-7890
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number31
StatePublished - Jul 30 2008


  • Aging
  • Attractor dynamics
  • CA1
  • Memory consolidation
  • Neural ensemble
  • Place field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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