It is well known that learning and memory ability declines with aging. Age-related long-term changes in learning and memory ability in rats were investigated with the place navigation task and the allocentric place discrimination task (APDT) in a water maze using the same animals for each task. In a working memory place navigation task, aged animals could learn the location of the platform as well as when they were young, although strategy shifts were observed. In contrast, accuracy in the APDT significantly declined from 90% to 65% with aging. This impairment was ameliorated by an acetylcholine esterase inhibitor physostigmine at 22-23 months old. No amelioration was, however, detected in the same animals tested when they further aged to 26-27 months old. These results suggest that the APDT performance is sensitive to age-related memory deficits and that this may be due to the cholinergic dysfunction.