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Numerous medicinal plants are mentioned in ancient Indian literature as cognition enhan-cers. Among these plants, Centella asiatica (CeA) has been used to improve memory. This study demonstrated the effect of CeA on learning ability and memory in male Wistar rats. The rats were trained at various periods by intragastric administration of CeA to the test group at a dosage of 2mg / 0.5 ml of distilled water/day (12mg/ kg body weight) for 10 days and compared with the control group by an Operant conditioning technique, n = 6 in both groups. The two important parameters studied were latency period and the total number of bar pressings which correspond to memory retention and task learning respectively. The re-sults were analyzed using the paired Student’s t-test. The CeA treated group showed a sig-nificant decrease in the latency period as compared to controls which suggested an im-provement in retaining the learnt task as good retention of memory (P < 0.05). The number of bar pressings did not change significantly in the test group, due to lack of CeA action on the learning process. The results conclude that the CeA had facilitated the retention of a learnt task for a longer period as good retension of memory but did not accelerated the learning process as expected.
Centella asiatica (CeA), Operant conditioning technique, Learning, Memory, Latency period