Document Detail

Effects of the stimulus and chamber size on unlearned fear across development.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21216279     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Predator odors have been found to induce unconditioned fear in adult animals and provide the opportunity to study the mechanisms underlying unlearned and learned fear. Predator threats change across an animal's lifetime, as do abilities that enable the animal to learn or engage in different defensive behaviors. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the combination of factors that successfully induce unlearned fear to predator odor across development. Infant, juvenile, adolescent, and adult rats were exposed to one of the three odor stimuli (control odor, cat urine, or cat fur) in either a small or large chamber. Though all ages displayed fear-related behavior to cat odors, differences were reflected only in freezing behavior and not, as expected, risk-assessment. Infant and juvenile animals also increased freezing to cat urine compared to the control odor, possibly because these age groups possess limited defensive options to cope with threat and so may respond with freezing to all predator stimuli. Unexpectedly, chamber size had no effect on either freezing or risk-assessment in this study. Once the parameters of unconditioned fear are understood, they can be exploited to develop a learning paradigm to predator odors that could be used in early life.
Patricia A Kabitzke; Christoph P Wiedenmayer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-01-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural processes     Volume:  86     ISSN:  1872-8308     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Processes     Publication Date:  2011 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-14     Completed Date:  2011-05-27     Revised Date:  2013-07-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703854     Medline TA:  Behav Processes     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  257-62     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / psychology*
Data Interpretation, Statistical
Fear / psychology*
Learning / physiology*
Predatory Behavior
Rats, Long-Evans
Urine / chemistry
Grant Support
R21 MH073994-02/MH/NIMH NIH HHS

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