Genetically-based behavioral traits influence the effects of Shuttle Box avoidance overtraining and extinction upon intertrial responding: A study with the Roman rat strains

Raúl Aguilar, Luis Gil, Alberto Fernández-Teruel, Adolf Tobeña

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22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the present study, we evaluated the effects of extended exposure procedures to contextual fear cues as a way of reducing intertrial responses (ITRs), a characteristic stereotyped behavior displayed in 2-way Shuttle Box avoidance overtraining. We used rat strains psychogenetically selected for efficient (Roman high-avoidance; RHA) versus poor 2-way Shuttle Box performance (Roman low-avoidance; RLA), the former being fearless/impulsive relative to the latter. Additionally, Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were compared with RHAs to have a measure of the ITRs exhibited by another, non-selected group of animals. The main findings were that after extended exposure RHAs diminished their ITRs without affecting avoidance performance, although they emitted a pattern of ITRs somewhat excessive as compared with SDs. We concluded that three factors could influence the expression of ITRs in RHA rats: (1) the repetitive and stereotyped responding induced by 2-way Shuttle Box overtraining; (2) contextual fear conditioning; and (3) a genetic background associated with high impulsiveness. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
JournalBehavioural Processes
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2004

Keywords

  • 2-way Shuttle Box
  • Contextual extinction
  • Fearlessness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Intertrial responding
  • Psychogenetics

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