Behavioural assessments of young and aged rats allow us to learn about the nature of their memory. One such behavioural paradigm is the one-off Object Recognition Memory (ORM) and Place Recognition Memory (PRM) task. In this event, animals are exposed to two novel items (Familiarisation stage) and after a brief delay, they are exposed to one of two changes, i.e., a novel item is now paired with one of the items they previously encountered (Object recognition) or the location of one of the items have been altered (Place recognition).
Typically, animals will explore the change in this environment. Our results conclusively show that the PRM is selectively sensitive to age-related change – in comparison to young rats, aged rats are simply poorer at detecting a location change in their environment. Results also show that voluntary exercise in aged rats is able to selectively reverse PRM performance and spare SORM performance. This suggests the PRM is a valid behavioural measure for future assessments of brain regeneration in rodent studies.