The neurobiology of memory changes in normal aging

C. A. Erickson, C. A. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


Cognitive alterations occur over the lifespan of every species studied and have been quantified carefully in humans, other primates and rodents. Correspondingly, changes in hippocampal function have been associated with a number of observed memory impairments across species. It appears that humans, alone, show Alzheimer's disease-like cognitive and neural pathology spontaneously. Thus, a comparison of normal age-related changes in cognition in other animals can help disambiguate the boundary between normal and pathological states of aging in humans. Another important contribution made from studying aging in non-human species is the ability to examine, in more detail, the basic neural mechanisms that may be responsible for brain aging in these species. So far, most of the functional neurobiological studies have been conducted in the aged rat. We propose that the link between rodent and human work can be made much stronger by combining neurophysiological and behavioral investigation of normal aging in the non-human primate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Ensemble dynamics
  • Hippocampal plasticity
  • Humans
  • Learning and memory
  • Monkeys
  • Normal aging
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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