Faculty Publications

Title

Maudsley reactive and non-reactive rat strains: Differential performance in a conflict task

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Anxiety, Conditioned suppression of drinking (CSD), Conflict behavior, Emotionality, Maudsley rat strains

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Physiology and Behavior

Volume

38

Issue

2

First Page

291

Last Page

294

Abstract

Based on open field defecation rates, distinct strains of Maudsley rats have been identified. The Maudsley Reactive strains exhibit high levels of open field defecation, while the Maudsley Non-Reactive strains exhibit low levels of open field defecation. This difference in open field behavior has been interpreted as an indicator of "emotionality." The present studies were designed to compare the performance of two Maudsley strains, MR/Har and MNRA/Har, in the conditioned suppression of drinking (CSD) paradigm, another "model" behavior for the study of emotionality and/or anxiety in animals. In daily 10-minute sessions, water-deprived rats were trained to drink from a tube that was occasionally electrified (0.5 mA), electrification being signalled by a tone. In this procedure, MNRA/Har rats accepted significantly more shocks than did MR/Har rats. This difference between MR/Har and MNRA/Har strains, initially somewhat slight, became quite impressive over weeks of repeated testing. Although present in both male and female subjects, this strain difference was more prominent in the males. Thus, the MR/Har and MNRA/Har rat strains, bred originally for their differences in open field behavior, also differ markedly in their performance in the CSD paradigm. These findings suggest that the Maudsley rat strains may represent a useful genetically-based "animal model" for the study of emotionality and/or anxiety. © 1986.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1986

DOI of published version

10.1016/0031-9384(86)90165-4

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