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Behavioral Neuroscience

Jennifer E Tribble, Michael S Fanselow
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an extremely debilitating disease with a broad array of associated symptoms, making the disorder difficult to diagnose and treat. In humans, patients seem to benefit from group therapy or other means of promoting social behavior. To test these effects on our rodent model of PTSD, adult, male rats were housed in either single or pair conditions prior to and during an acute stressor to induce PTSD-like behaviors in these rats. Subsequently, rats were assessed for PTSD-like symptoms to determine the effect of social housing on stress-induced phenotypes...
January 10, 2019: Behavioral Neuroscience
Matías López, Dominic M Dwyer, Patricia Gasalla
Pairing a taste with either internal pain or nausea, despite equivalent effects on voluntary consumption, has dissociable effects on hedonic responses: Only pairing with nausea results in the production of disgust reactions, while pairing with internal pain results in conditioned fear as indicated by immobility. Here, we use orofacial reactions to examine the hedonic responses elicited by contextual, nonflavor, cues paired with nausea produced by injection of lithium chloride (LiCl) or internal pain caused by injection of hypertonic saline...
December 20, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Jan Nowacki, Hauke R Heekeren, Christian E Deuter, Jan David Joerißen, Aileen Schröder, Christian Otte, Katja Wingenfeld
Individuals tend to make riskier decisions in response to stress. The magnitude of the stress effect on decision-making under risk seems to depend on the stressor type and the decision situation. We examined the effects of physiological and combined physiological and psychosocial stress on decision-making under risk and whether risk taking differs between women and men. Ninety female (n = 45) and male (n = 45) students completed a decision-making under risk task with explicit probabilities and without feedback after exposure to physiological (Cold Pressor Test, CPT), combined physiological and psychosocial (Socially Evaluated Cold Pressor Test, SECPT), or no stress (Warm Water Test, WWT)...
December 17, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Olga V Burenkova, Elena A Aleksandrova, Irina Yu Zarayskaya
Despite the well-established fact that maternal care plays a pivotal role in the offspring development, little is known about the effects of disruption of maternal care early in life on the development of this behavior in the offspring. Using brief repeated maternal separation (45 min/day on postnatal Days 3-6), which represents a model of early life stress, we found behavioral changes in adult female mice offspring. The decrease in home cage exploratory behavior (both pup-directed and nonpup-directed) was revealed later in adulthood without changes in maternal care level...
November 29, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Nathalie D Elliott, Rick Richardson
Research shows that memory for a context generalizes (i.e., becomes less precise) over time. In this series of experiments, we examined the impact of early life stress on context generalization. Early life stress was modeled using a maternal separation procedure, whereby pups were separated from the dam for 3 hr a day from postnatal Day 2 to 14, or reared as normal. In adulthood, rats were trained to fear a context, and were then tested for freezing in either the training context or a generalization context...
November 29, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Wayne R Hawley, Deandra E Mosura
The expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) are regulated by gonadal hormone signaling and are expressed in brain areas that are important for sexual behaviors. Accordingly, BDNF and TrkB signaling have been shown to be important for the expression of consummatory sexual behaviors. However, the role of TrkB in sexually motivated behaviors remains to be fully elucidated. To this end, male rats were administered either the TrkB antagonist, ANA-12, or a vehicle control prior to sexual motivation testing, which took place on a noncontact version of a partner preference task...
November 29, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Andrea Dimiziani, Lidia Bellés Añó, Stergios Tsartsalis, Philippe Millet, François Herrmann, Nathalie Ginovart
Roman high- (RHA) and low-avoidance (RLA) rats have been used as a model for drug-addiction, showing, respectively, high- and low-responding to psychostimulants, and low versus high dopamine D2/3 receptors (D2/3R) striatal density. Previous studies indicated a major involvement of D2/3R on reinstatement of cocaine seeking, although the respective role of the two receptor subtypes is not clear. Here, we investigated sensitivity to cocaine self-administration (SA) through a dose-response protocol in RHAs and RLAs, and reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior at 15 days and 5 weeks following withdrawal...
November 29, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Hannah L Schoenberg, Emily X Sola, Ellen Seyller, Michael Kelberman, Donna J Toufexis
Habitual behavior can be advantageous by increasing the availability of cognitive resources for use in other tasks. However, habitual behaviors are problematic when they are coopted to prolong the maladaptive responding present in several psychopathologies such as substance abuse, dysregulated fear responding in posttraumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Although sex differences exist in the occurrence or progression of these psychopathologies, there are no studies that compare the development of habitual behavior systematically in male and female animals...
October 25, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Muriah D Wheelock, Deshpande Rangaprakash, Nathaniel G Harnett, Kimberly H Wood, Tyler R Orem, Sylvie Mrug, Douglas A Granger, Gopikrishna Deshpande, David C Knight
Cognitive and emotional functions are supported by the coordinated activity of a distributed network of brain regions. This coordinated activity may be disrupted by psychosocial stress, resulting in the dysfunction of cognitive and emotional processes. Graph theory is a mathematical approach to assess coordinated brain activity that can estimate the efficiency of information flow and determine the centrality of brain regions within a larger distributed neural network. However, limited research has applied graph-theory techniques to the study of stress...
December 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Courtney Glavis-Bloom, Jocelyne Bachevalier
This study examined whether selective neonatal hippocampal lesions in monkeys ( Macaca mulatta ), which left the surrounding cortical areas (parahippocampal cortex) intact, affect contextual learning and memory compared with controls. Monkeys were tested with an automated touch-screen apparatus so that stimuli and contextual cues could be manipulated independently of one another. The data suggest that animals with neonatal hippocampal lesions have sparing of function with regard to contextual learning and memory when (a) contextual information is irrelevant or (b) relevant for good discrimination performance, and (c) when transferring a contextual rule to new discriminations...
December 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Adele J Kapellusch, Adam W Lester, Benjamin A Schwartz, Anne C Smith, Carol A Barnes
Young and aged animals were tested on a spatial alternation task that consisted of two interleaved components: (1) an "outbound" or alternation component (working memory) and (2) an "inbound" component, requiring the animal to remember to return to a central location in space (spatial memory). In the present study, aged rats made more outbound errors throughout testing, resulting in significantly more days to reach learning criterion, as compared to young rats. Furthermore, while all animals were able to learn the hippocampus-dependent inbound component of the task, most aged animals remained just above chance on the outbound component, even after extended testing days...
December 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Sarah A Jablonski, Patrese A Robinson-Drummer, William B Schreiber, Arun Asok, Jeffrey B Rosen, Mark E Stanton
The context preexposure facilitation effect (CPFE) is a variant of contextual fear conditioning in which learning about the context (preexposure) and associating the context with a shock (training) occur on separate occasions. The CPFE is sensitive to a range of neonatal alcohol doses (Murawski & Stanton, 2011). The current study examined the impact of neonatal alcohol on Egr-1 mRNA expression in the infralimbic (IL) and prelimbic (PL) subregions of the mPFC, the CA1 of dorsal hippocampus (dHPC), and the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA), following the preexposure and training phases of the CPFE...
December 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Katelyn L Black, Nina E Baumgartner, Jill M Daniel
We previously demonstrated that 40 days of prior midlife estradiol treatment results in enhanced spatial memory in aging ovariectomized rats long after termination of the estradiol treatment. Our current goal was to determine whether this benefit is due to lasting impacts on memory specifically of previous exogenous estradiol treatment or simply due to delaying cognitive deficits that occur following loss of ovarian hormones. Middle-aged rats were ovariectomized or underwent sham surgery. Ovariectomized rats received estradiol (Previous Estradiol) or vehicle (Previous Vehicle) implants...
December 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Ursula Debarnot, Chieko Huber, Aymeric Guillot, Sophie Schwartz
Limb immobilization paradigms are increasingly used to investigate changes in brain plasticity and support potential rehabilitation techniques that might help counteract motor impairments. Yet, it remains unclear how unilateral arm immobilization may influence the sensorimotor representation and functional output for both arms. Using a randomized crossover design, 14 participants underwent a baseline test, followed by two experimental conditions separated by 1 week: a right (dominant) arm immobilization phase over a period of 8 hr and a no-immobilization (or control) phase also lasting 8 hr...
October 8, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Maren Kleinmans, David K Bilkey
One of the cognitive symptoms observed in schizophrenia is decreased flexibility in several tasks, including reversal learning. Reversal learning has previously been tested in rats following maternal immune activation (MIA), a risk factor for schizophrenia, with varying results. Whereas some previous studies have shown that MIA rats are slower to learn a reversal, others have reported more rapid learning compared with controls. Several of these latter studies have, however, used a T-maze task with aversive, negative reinforcement as a motivating factor...
October 8, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Takeshi Enomoto, Naho Konoike, Atsushi Takemoto, Katsuki Nakamura, Kazuhito Ikeda
Effort-based decision-making paradigms have recently been used to measure motivation in healthy subjects and patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. In the present study, we developed a novel effort-discounting paradigm using a touch-panel system in common marmosets. Marmosets were trained to choose between a low-reward (a piece of cake) requiring low-effort (one touch response) versus high-reward (three pieces of cake) requiring one of three different effort levels (one, two, or four touch responses). Because the number of trials per session was kept constant, the selection of the high-reward choice was always the optimal strategy to receive the maximum number of rewards...
October 8, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Estefanía Orellana Barrera, Carlos Arias, Paula Abate
It is frequently assumed that infants are impaired in contextual memory and consequently, in recovery from extinction, a phenomenon considered to be context dependent. However, the evidence in the field is far from consistent with this interpretation, since several studies have shown context-dependent extinction in infant rats using a variety of procedures and behavioral measures. This discussion has primarily been based on studies using Pavlovian conditioning tasks. Three experiments were conducted to study reinstatement of an extinguished operant response and additionally to evaluate the context dependence of such an effect...
October 8, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Jonas K Olofsson, Elmeri Syrjänen, Ingrid Ekström, Maria Larsson, Stefan Wiens
In psychological experiments, behavioral speed varies across trials, and this variation is often associated with corresponding fluctuations in cortical activity. Little is known about such cortical variations in semantic priming tasks where target words are matched with preceding sensory object cues. Here, two visually presented target words ("pear" and "lilac") were repeatedly cued by corresponding odors or pictures, and the participants were to indicate matching or nonmatching combinations...
October 8, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Nora H Prior, Marie S A Fernandez, Hédi A Soula, Clémentine Vignal
Although steroids are widely known to affect behavior through activation of nuclear/cytosolic receptors ("genomic" effects), steroids can also rapidly affect behavior via modulation of signal transduction pathways ("nongenomic," fast actions, or rapid effects). In zebra finches, there is evidence that sex steroids have context-specific effects on pair-maintenance behavior, on both acute and chronic timescales. Here, we quantified the effects of orally administered testosterone and 17β-estradiol (E2) on pair-maintenance behavior...
October 4, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
Jenny Zaehringer, Christian Schmahl, Gabriele Ende, Christian Paret
Down-regulation of negative emotions has been shown to reliably inhibit the emotion-modulated startle reflex, but it remains unclear whether the timing of the startle probe influences the quantification of emotion regulation with this measure. Moreover, it is not known whether the degree of startle inhibition corresponds to the subjective attenuation of negative emotions. Therefore, the two main goals of the study were, first, to systematically analyze the effect of probe time on startle inhibition and, second, to explore the association between subjectively perceived down-regulation of arousal and valence and the degree of startle inhibition...
October 4, 2018: Behavioral Neuroscience
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