Exploratory activity of rats in three different environments

Citation
G. Genaro et Wr. Schmidek, Exploratory activity of rats in three different environments, ETHOLOGY, 106(9), 2000, pp. 849-859
Citations number
17
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
106
Issue
9
Year of publication
2000
Pages
849 - 859
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200009)106:9<849:EAORIT>2.0.ZU;2-Q
Abstract
Adult male hooded (Long-Evans) rats (Rattus norvergicus) were used to compa re the efficiency of three types of tests (plain open field - OF, open fiel d with a refuge - OD, and complex environment with a refuge - EX), for the evaluation of exploratory behaviour. The results confirmed that OF is a hig hly aversive situation with the animals showing elevated emotional response (defecation and urination) when compared to situations containing a refuge (OD and EX). Presence of a plain arena (OF and OD) does not elicit high ex ploratory performance, as shown by the delayed and reduced exit from the re fuge in OD when compared to EX. Thus locomotor activity in OF (covered dist ance, number of rearings) probably reflects more of an escape reaction than a genuine exploratory behaviour. Conversely the presence of a complex envi ronment seems to elicit a high exploratory performance expressed as a quick exit from the refuge, an increased time in the environment (more than 75% of the observation time) and intense locomotor patterns (large covered dist ances, great number of rearings) but with little emotional display (reduced defecation and urination). The results thus show the importance of conside ring ethological factors in the choice or development of laboratory tests.