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Effects of floor surface and environmental illumination on exploratory activity in the elevated plus-maze.

Authors
  • Morato, S
  • Castrechini, P
Type
Published Article
Journal
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Publisher
SciELO
Publication Date
1989
Volume
22
Issue
6
Pages
707–710
Identifiers
PMID: 2620180
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We determined the effects of floor surface (wire mesh, WM+, or smooth wood, WM-) and environmental light intensity (20 or 1200 lux) on the exploratory activity of rats in an elevated plus-maze using 15 rats in each group. Rats tested on the wire-mesh floor under low environmental light intensity presented a two-fold increase in the total number of arm entries compared to WM+/high light, WM-/high light or WM-/low light. The relative frequency of open arm entries was greater under WM+/low light (38 +/- 3% vs 20 +/- 5%, 19 +/- 3% and 13 +/- 3% for WM-/low light, WM+/high light and WM-/high light, respectively), as was the percent of time spent in the open arms (27 +/- 4% vs 9 +/- 3%, 8 +/- 2% and 5 +/- 1% for WM-/low light, WM+/high light and WM-/high light, respectively). These behaviors are associated with "aversiveness" as measured with this test. The present results demonstrate that baseline values for drug studies may be decreased or increased by selecting the appropriate type of floor surface and intensity of environmental illumination, thereby permitting more sensitivity, and thus selectivity, for measuring anxiolytic or anxiogenic drug effects, respectively.

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