The Behavioral Effects of Environmental Enrichment in Rats
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD DEPT OF MEDICAL AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
Pagination or Media Count:
The present experiment examined the effects of environmental enrichment on behavioral measures of locomotor activity, stress, and health in rats. Six measures i.e., Open Field, Elevated Plus Maze, LightDark Box, Plasma Corticosterone, Food Consumption, and Body Weight were used to examine the effects of enrichment and stress on 48 male, adolescent Sprague-Dawley rats that were placed in an enriched or non-enriched environment for a total of 24 days. Compared with rats housed in non-enriched environments, rats that were housed in enriched environments showed the following 1 decreased activity and increased habituation in a novel environment 2 ate less food and had less body weight gain 6 on average. The results regarding stress responses were inconclusive. These findings and future research investigating the effect of environmental enrichment to slow the rate of weight gain are discussed.
- Medicine and Medical Research