Delayed acquisition of eyeblink conditioning in aged F1 hybrid (Fischer-344 × brown Norway) rats

Craig Weiss*, Richard F. Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We previously reported that the freely moving male Fischer-344 rat provides a useful model to demonstrate the progressive impairment of eyeblink conditioning associated with aging. However, because the youngest F-344 rats only performed at 60% of maximum, we ran the same experiment with hybrid rats and discovered most (i.e., those age 9-24 months) learned rapidly and exhibited conditioned responses on greater than 80% of trials by the end of two training sessions. In contrast, the aged rats (36 months) exhibited significantly fewer CRs on all four training days. However, unlike all ages of F-344 rats (3-30 months) which were run in our last study, these aged hybrid rats exhibited considerable improvement with extra training. These data indicate clear differences in the rate of learning between the two strains and suggest that even young F-344 rats may have deficits in the neural circuits which mediate eyeblink conditioning. Other anecdotal findings on differences between the two strains are noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-323
Number of pages5
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992


  • Aging
  • Brown Norway
  • Classical conditioning
  • EMG
  • Fischer-344
  • Hybrid
  • Nictitating membrane
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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