Arousal as an explanation for differences in rats selectively bred for differential alcohol sensitivity

The Journal of Psychology
M N Guile


A common error made by behavior genetics researchers is breeding two lines for differences in central arousal rather than for a specific behavioral feature. Two lines of rats (Riley, Freed, & Lester, 1976) were selectively bred for locomotor impairment in response to a subhypnotic dose (1.5 g/kg) of ethanol. These lines (designated "most affected" and "least affected") were compared in a variety of tests and showed differences in a number of phenotypic traits in addition to locomotor impairment to ethanol. The published findings have been interpreted in light of a hypothesis suggesting adventitiously selected differences in central arousal between the two lines. This interpretation showed that their usefulness as animal models of alcoholism is seriously compromised.


Nov 1, 1977·Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior·E D Worsham, E X Freed
Jan 1, 1973·Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior·D Lester, E X Freed
May 25, 1972·Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences·D Lester, E X Freed
Dec 1, 1973·Behavior Genetics·W Claeys
Jun 1, 1970·Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology·K P SatinderL T Yeudall
Jan 1, 1980·Psychopharmacology·N R Shapiro, E P Riley
Dec 1, 1980·Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior·H J FriedmanD Lester
Feb 1, 1981·Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology·K P Satinder
Jul 1, 1981·Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior·M B Bass, D Lester
Feb 1, 1980·Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology·J R SuttererW DeVito

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Alcohol Abuse
Vigilance, Cortical
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