Neurobiological models are important for identifying the effects of aging that contribute to cognitive decline and for developing interventions to either prevent those changes or restore more optimal function. As a starting point, this paper considers one type of approach using cholinergic deficiency within the hippocampal system as a model for age-related spatial learning impairment. It is suggested that this approach, based on producing a target lesion in the brain, is inadequate for investigating the aging process. As an alternative, a systems-level approach to the development of more useful and accurate models of neurobiological aging is advocated.
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