Preliminary report of a simple animal behavior model for the anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines

Jacqueline Crawley, F. K. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

967 Scopus citations


A simple system is described to analyze the possibility that increased exploratory behavior is an index for the anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines in laboratory rodents. Mice were allowed free run in a two-chambered arena, where two-thirds of the area was illuminated and one-third was darkened. The two chambers were separated by a black partition equipped with photocells across the opening, and the entire cage rested on an Animex activity monitor. Transitions across the partition between the light and dark chambers, and total Animex locomotor activity, were increased by clonazepam and chlordiazepoxide, in dose-dependent ranges consistent with previously reported behavior models. The increased exploratory activity with benzodiazines does not appear to be a non-specific increase in general motor activity, as locomotion in clonazepam and chlordiazepoxide treated mice placed in a bare, undifferentiated cage was not significantly different from vehicle treated mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-170
Number of pages4
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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