Motor and reflexive behavior in the aging rat
Journals of Gerontology
Four age groups of Fischer 344 rats (6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-months of age) were compared on a battery of reflexive and locomotor tasks. The simple reflexive tasks such as placing, hopping, negative geotaxis and surface and mid-air righting showed little or no change as a function of age. In contrast, tasks requiring more coordinated control of motor and reflexive responses such as suspension from a horizontal wire, descent of a wire mesh pole, traversal of an elevated platform and rotorod performance showed significant declines with age, with some declines noticeable early in the lifespan. When these results are compared with the results of tasks conducted with infant rats, it is noted that the reflexive and motor skills that emerge early in development are the least affected by the aging process. This observation suggests a first-in, last-out sequence for reflexive and motor behaviors.
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Wallace, J. E.; Krauter, E. E.; and Campbell, B. A., "Motor and reflexive behavior in the aging rat" (1980). Faculty Publications. 4968.