Development of defensive behavior and conditioning to cat odor in the rat

D. T. Hubbard, D. C. Blanchard, M. Yang, C. M. Markham, A. Gervacio, L. Chun-I, R. J. Blanchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Laboratory rats show a range of defensive behaviors, including freezing, avoidance, and risk assessment upon exposure to cat odor, an unconditioned but highly effective threat stimulus. This study examined defensive behaviors, and the rapid conditioning to context plus cue, of these behaviors, in 18-, 26-, and 38-day-old male and female rats exposed to cat odor. Rats were placed individually in a runway with a cloth covered (control or saturated with cat fur/skin odor) block for a 10-min trial. On the following day, a similar trial involved an odorless block. On the odor exposure day, rats of all ages showed less contact with the odor block than with the control block. The 26- and 38-day-old rats, but not the 18-day-old rats, also showed locomotor suppression, more avoidance of the area where the odor block was located, and more risk assessment than no-odor controls. On a test of conditioned behavior 24 h following exposure, 26- and 38-day-old rats exhibited defensive behavior including avoidance and reduction of locomotion while 18-day-old pups did not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume80
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cats
Avoidance Learning
Locomotion
Odorants
Conditioning (Psychology)
Freezing
Cues
Skin

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Cat odor
  • Conditioning
  • Crouch
  • Defense
  • Defensive behavior
  • Development
  • Fear
  • Freeze
  • Predator
  • Rat
  • Risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Hubbard, D. T., Blanchard, D. C., Yang, M., Markham, C. M., Gervacio, A., Chun-I, L., & Blanchard, R. J. (2004). Development of defensive behavior and conditioning to cat odor in the rat. Physiology and Behavior, 80(4), 525-530. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2003.10.006

Development of defensive behavior and conditioning to cat odor in the rat. / Hubbard, D. T.; Blanchard, D. C.; Yang, M.; Markham, C. M.; Gervacio, A.; Chun-I, L.; Blanchard, R. J.

In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 80, No. 4, 01.2004, p. 525-530.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hubbard, DT, Blanchard, DC, Yang, M, Markham, CM, Gervacio, A, Chun-I, L & Blanchard, RJ 2004, 'Development of defensive behavior and conditioning to cat odor in the rat', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 80, no. 4, pp. 525-530. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2003.10.006
Hubbard DT, Blanchard DC, Yang M, Markham CM, Gervacio A, Chun-I L et al. Development of defensive behavior and conditioning to cat odor in the rat. Physiology and Behavior. 2004 Jan;80(4):525-530. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2003.10.006
Hubbard, D. T. ; Blanchard, D. C. ; Yang, M. ; Markham, C. M. ; Gervacio, A. ; Chun-I, L. ; Blanchard, R. J. / Development of defensive behavior and conditioning to cat odor in the rat. In: Physiology and Behavior. 2004 ; Vol. 80, No. 4. pp. 525-530.
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