STRESS AND EMOTIONAL BEHAVIOR: ENRICHED PAST EXPERIENCE REDUCES EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO STRESS IN FIRST AND SECOND LITTER RATS.
HUMAN ENGINEERING LABS ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
Pagination or Media Count:
First-litter male Wistar rats were either handled or not handled on days 1-15 following birth. Starting on day 50 they were tested in the open field for one, two, three or four days. Activity and defecation scores were obtained. The mothers were re-bred twice to rear second and third litters which were not handled in infancy, but which were tested for four days in the open field, starting on day 50. The effects were noted for the third-litter offspring. It was concluded that handling a rat mothers first litter affects the behavior of her subsequent offspring. The results obtained from first-litter animals fit the traditional emotionality interpretation for the effects of handling, but the results obtained from second-litter animals suggest that exploratory behavior as well as emotionality may be affected. Author