Whether and how persistent firing in lateral entorhinal cortex layer III (LEC III) supports temporal associative learning is still unknown. In this study, persistent firing was evoked in vitro from LEC III neurons from young and aged rats that were behaviorally naive or trained on trace eyeblink conditioning. Persistent firing ability from neurons from behaviorally naive aged rats was lower compared to neurons from young rats. Neurons from learning impaired aged animals also exhibited reduced persistent firing capacity, which may contribute to aging-related learning impairments. Successful acquisition of the trace eyeblink task, however, increased persistent firing ability in both young and aged rats. These changes in persistent firing ability are due to changes to the afterdepolarization, which may in turn be modulated by the postburst afterhyperpolarization. Together, these data indicate that successful learning increases persistent firing ability and decreases in persistent firing ability contribute to learning impairments in aging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)