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Ethanol effects in an anxiety/defense test battery.

Authors
  • Blanchard, R J
  • Blanchard, D C
  • Weiss, S M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1990
Volume
7
Issue
5
Pages
375–381
Identifiers
PMID: 2222840
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Two tests, components of an Anxiety/Defense Test Battery, have been designed to measure risk assessment, inhibition of nondefensive behaviors, and movement arrest, all of which occur in the natural defense patterns of rats to threatening stimuli. In these tests, which used a nonpainful threat stimulus (a cat), ethanol (0.6 and 1.2 g/kg) increased two risk assessment behaviors on an initial test day, and produced a wider pattern of changes in all three patterns on a retest (no cat) day, 5 days later. The pattern of results obtained is compatible with a view that defensive behaviors occur in a fixed sequence with the decreasing intensity of threat an important factor in the transition from one defensive behavior to the next, and with ethanol at these doses producing a mild and relatively nonspecific anxiolytic effect. Comparison of male and female subjects on these tasks also suggested that females are more defensive than males, a finding which agrees with a variety of human anxiety studies but is at variance with previous rodent literature.

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