Memories do not persist in a permanent, static state but instead must be dynamically modified in response to new information. Although new memory formation is typically studied in a laboratory setting, most real-world associations are modifications to existing memories, particularly in the aging, experienced brain. To date, the field has lacked a simple behavioral paradigm that can measure whether original and updated information is remembered in a single test session. To address this gap, we have developed a novel memory updating paradigm, called the Objects in Updated Locations (OUL) task that is capable of assessing memory updating in a non-stressful task that is appropriate for both young and old rodents. We first show that young mice successfully remember both the original memory and the updated information in OUL. Next, we demonstrate that intrahippocampal infusion of the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin disrupts both the updated information and the original memory at test, suggesting that memory updating in OUL engages the original memory. To verify this, we used the Arc CatFISH technique to show that the OUL update session reactivates a largely overlapping set of neurons as the original memory. Finally, using OUL, we show that memory updating is impaired in aging, 18-m.o. mice. Together, these results demonstrate that hippocampal memory updating is impaired with aging and establish that the OUL paradigm is an effective, sensitive method of assessing memory updating in rodents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health