Behavioral responses to physical vs. social novelty in male and female laboratory rats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most behavioral tests used with laboratory rodents involve measuring behavioral responses to physical novelty. However, laboratory rodents are often derived from highly social species for which novel social stimuli may induce different levels of fear or curiosity compared to novel physical objects. We hypothesized that behavioral responses will differ in response to novel physical vs. social cues, and that females may show more exploration of social novelty, based on prior studies indicating that females more actively seek social support during duress compared to males. We compared young (55-day-old) Sprague-Dawley rats' responses to an arena filled with novel objects (" physical" ) or a novel same-sex caged conspecific (" social" ). Rats were more active and spent twice as much time in contact with the novel social stimulus compared to novel physical stimuli. Although females were more active than males, females were not particularly more exploratory in the social arena compared to males. The results indicate that a novel social partner (even a caged one with limited ability to interact) elicits more exploration than novel objects for both male and female rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-59
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioural Processes
Volume88
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

Fingerprint

rats
Rodentia
rodents
Exploratory Behavior
Aptitude
fearfulness
Social Support
Fear
Cues
Sprague Dawley Rats
gender
testing
Behavior Rating Scale
social support

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

@article{148e78d8b6a24e75b860fae5aa4d2668,
title = "Behavioral responses to physical vs. social novelty in male and female laboratory rats",
abstract = "Most behavioral tests used with laboratory rodents involve measuring behavioral responses to physical novelty. However, laboratory rodents are often derived from highly social species for which novel social stimuli may induce different levels of fear or curiosity compared to novel physical objects. We hypothesized that behavioral responses will differ in response to novel physical vs. social cues, and that females may show more exploration of social novelty, based on prior studies indicating that females more actively seek social support during duress compared to males. We compared young (55-day-old) Sprague-Dawley rats' responses to an arena filled with novel objects ({"} physical{"} ) or a novel same-sex caged conspecific ({"} social{"} ). Rats were more active and spent twice as much time in contact with the novel social stimulus compared to novel physical stimuli. Although females were more active than males, females were not particularly more exploratory in the social arena compared to males. The results indicate that a novel social partner (even a caged one with limited ability to interact) elicits more exploration than novel objects for both male and female rats.",
author = "Cavigelli, {Sonia Angele} and Michael, {Kerry C.} and West, {Sheila Grace} and Laura Klein",
year = "2011",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.beproc.2011.06.006",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "88",
pages = "56--59",
journal = "Behavioural Processes",
issn = "0376-6357",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "1",

}

Behavioral responses to physical vs. social novelty in male and female laboratory rats. / Cavigelli, Sonia Angele; Michael, Kerry C.; West, Sheila Grace; Klein, Laura.

In: Behavioural Processes, Vol. 88, No. 1, 01.09.2011, p. 56-59.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Behavioral responses to physical vs. social novelty in male and female laboratory rats

AU - Cavigelli, Sonia Angele

AU - Michael, Kerry C.

AU - West, Sheila Grace

AU - Klein, Laura

PY - 2011/9/1

Y1 - 2011/9/1

N2 - Most behavioral tests used with laboratory rodents involve measuring behavioral responses to physical novelty. However, laboratory rodents are often derived from highly social species for which novel social stimuli may induce different levels of fear or curiosity compared to novel physical objects. We hypothesized that behavioral responses will differ in response to novel physical vs. social cues, and that females may show more exploration of social novelty, based on prior studies indicating that females more actively seek social support during duress compared to males. We compared young (55-day-old) Sprague-Dawley rats' responses to an arena filled with novel objects (" physical" ) or a novel same-sex caged conspecific (" social" ). Rats were more active and spent twice as much time in contact with the novel social stimulus compared to novel physical stimuli. Although females were more active than males, females were not particularly more exploratory in the social arena compared to males. The results indicate that a novel social partner (even a caged one with limited ability to interact) elicits more exploration than novel objects for both male and female rats.

AB - Most behavioral tests used with laboratory rodents involve measuring behavioral responses to physical novelty. However, laboratory rodents are often derived from highly social species for which novel social stimuli may induce different levels of fear or curiosity compared to novel physical objects. We hypothesized that behavioral responses will differ in response to novel physical vs. social cues, and that females may show more exploration of social novelty, based on prior studies indicating that females more actively seek social support during duress compared to males. We compared young (55-day-old) Sprague-Dawley rats' responses to an arena filled with novel objects (" physical" ) or a novel same-sex caged conspecific (" social" ). Rats were more active and spent twice as much time in contact with the novel social stimulus compared to novel physical stimuli. Although females were more active than males, females were not particularly more exploratory in the social arena compared to males. The results indicate that a novel social partner (even a caged one with limited ability to interact) elicits more exploration than novel objects for both male and female rats.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80051583965&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80051583965&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.beproc.2011.06.006

DO - 10.1016/j.beproc.2011.06.006

M3 - Article

C2 - 21726606

AN - SCOPUS:80051583965

VL - 88

SP - 56

EP - 59

JO - Behavioural Processes

JF - Behavioural Processes

SN - 0376-6357

IS - 1

ER -