Jan 15, 2010

A less stressful animal model: a conditioned avoidance behaviour task for guineapigs

Laboratory Animals
Martijn J H AgterbergIngrid H C H M Philippens


In the conventional shuttle box, animals are trained to avoid electric foot-shocks. As a consequence of these stress-inducing foot-shocks the animals become anxious and are difficult to train. The aim of the present study was to avoid the stress-inducing foot-shocks and to develop a fast and reliable conditioned avoidance behaviour task for guineapigs. We examined whether narrowband noises at four different sound levels above hearing threshold could be used as conditioned stimulus (CS). The unconditioned stimulus (UCS) was a stream of air, which was used instead of the conventionally used electric foot-shocks. The animals were initially trained with a CS of 78 dB sound pressure level (SPL). In this initial training, guineapigs learned to detect a narrowband noise of 78 dB SPL. Interestingly, during the first additional training session in which three other sound levels were applied, guineapigs did not immediately generalize the learned response at 78 dB SPL to lower sound levels of 58 and 68 dB SPL. However, in this session a noise level of 88 dB SPL led immediately to a high level of responses. The response latency decreased with increasing sound level, from approximately 7 s at 58 dB SPL to approximately 3 s at 88 dB SPL. The...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Behavior, Animal
Avoidance Learning
Reaction Time
Threshold of Hearing
Animal Cruelty
Escape Reaction
Noise Pollution
Electroconvulsive Shock

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