PDAPP transgenic mice have been shown to develop age dependently much of the cerebral histopathology associated with Alzheimer's disease. PDAPP mice (3-10 months old) were tested in a battery of memory tasks to determine whether they develop memory-behavioral deficits and whether these deficits occur before or after amyloid deposition. PDAPP mice manifest robust impairments in a radial-maze spatial discrimination task at all ages tested. Mild deficits were observed in a barpress learning task in 3-month-old PDAPP mice. In contrast, PDAPP mice show an age-dependent decrease in spontaneous object-recognition performance that appears to be severe at ages when amyloid deposition is known to occur. Thus, the PDAPP mouse shows severe deficits in the radial maze well before amyloid plaque deposition, whereas object-recognition performance decreases with age and may be associated with amyloid deposition.