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Object recognition tasks detect cognitive deficits in transgenic Alzheimer's disease (AD) mouse models. Object recognition, however, is not a unitary process, and there are many uncharacterized facets of object processing with relevance to AD. We therefore systematically evaluated object processing in 5xFAD and 3xTG AD mice to clarify the nature of object recognition-related deficits. Twelve-month-old male and female 5xFAD and 3xTG mice were assessed on tasks for object identity recognition, spatial recognition, and multisensory object perception. Memory and multisensory perceptual impairments were observed, with interesting dissociations between transgenic AD strains and sex that paralleled neuropathological changes. Overreliance on the widespread "object recognition" task threatens to slow discovery of potentially significant and clinically relevant behavioural effects related to this multifaceted cognitive function. The current results support the use of carefully designed object-based test batteries to clarify the relationship between "object recognition" impairments and specific aspects of AD pathology in rodent models.
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