In hippocampal slices from male Wistar rats aged 1-34 months, we recorded the synaptic field potential responses of the CA1 neurons to stimulation of Schaffer collaterals. Eight electrophysiological indexes were extracted from input/output curves and compared in 11 age groups from 1 to 30 months. Neuronal excitability presented a U-shaped curve of development with a minimum at approximately 7-8 months of age. There was a significant continuous increase in neuronal excitability, i.e. a decrease in excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) producing both the threshold and half-maximal population spike from middle age (8-10 months) to senescence (30 months). Synaptic efficiency also increased in old rats to reach a maximum during senescence, i.e. both the current for threshold EPSP and that for half-maximal EPSP reached a minimum in senescence, although the earlier developmental patterns of these two indexes were non-linear. The duration of the field EPSP elicited with maximal stimulation presented an abrupt decay after the first month. Aged animals presented a relatively small maximal population spike. Recurrent inhibition was most prominent on neuronal excitability rather than synaptic strength. Measured as the percentage change in the half-maximal EPSP and half-maximal population spike, recurrent inhibition was found to decrease during the first 7-10 months of life and remained small in later development.