The Effect of Aversive Early Experience on the Behavioral and Biological Fear Response in Rats

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dc.contributor.author Dicken, Matthew
dc.contributor.author McFarland, Carol
dc.contributor.author Holsker, Kristin
dc.contributor.author Ippolito, Kelly
dc.contributor.author Weiss, Charlie
dc.date.accessioned 2009-06-24T13:40:46Z
dc.date.available 2009-06-24T13:40:46Z
dc.date.issued 2009-06-24T13:40:46Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2092/961
dc.description Advisor: Brian J. Sanders en_US
dc.description.abstract The effects of both positive and negative early life experiences on subsequent emotional reactivity are a major focus in current research on the etiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. Specifically, traumatic events, particularly when combined with genetic vulnerability, may exert a profound influence on the future psychological and biological development of an organism. In this study our lab examined the effects of a traumatic event early in life, maternal separation, on the future biobehavioral reactivity in animals with (borderline hypertensive rats) and without (Sprague-Dawley) a genetic predisposition for cardiovascular and emotional reactivity. Subjects were separated from the litter for two hours from post-natal days 1 through 14. Beginning at 6 weeks of age, anxiety-like behavior and locomotor activity was tested by elevated plus maze and open field, respectively. One day following implantation of an arterial catheter, fear conditioning was used to produce an aversive emotional event (lO pairings an environmental cue (tone) followed by a brief lmA footshock). 24 hours later, emotional (e.g., freezing, vocalizations) and biological (e.g., blood pressure, corticosterone) responses were assessed in all subjects in response to re-exposure to the context (original context) and cue (altered context + tone). Results could provide an explanation for some of the differences between those susceptible to neuropsychiatric disorders like PTSD and those who are resistant. Results may also be used to expand upon the emerging body of research concerning the link between cardiovascular disease and PTSD. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Drake University, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and the Neuroscience Program en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries DUCURS 2009;27
dc.subject Rats as laboratory animals en_US
dc.subject Fear--Behavioral aspects en_US
dc.subject Fear in animals en_US
dc.subject Neurobehavioral disorders--Etiology en_US
dc.title The Effect of Aversive Early Experience on the Behavioral and Biological Fear Response in Rats en_US
dc.type Presentation en_US


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  • DUCURS [193]
    Poster sessions and presentation from the Drake University Conference on Undergraduate Research in the Sciences held each April at Olmsted Center on the Drake campus.

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