Investigation of social, affective, and locomotor behavior of adolescent Brattleboro rats reveals a link between vasopressin’s actions on arousal and social behavior

Arginine vasopressin (AVP) has recently been implicated in juvenile and adolescent social development. How AVP influences social development, however, is not understood. Adolescent homozygous Brattleboro rats (Hom), which lack AVP due to a mutation in the Avp gene, exhibit fewer active social behaviors (e.g., social play) but more passive social behaviors (e.g., huddling) than their […]

Unpredictability, Controllability, and Optimal Arousal/Stimulation Level as Applied to Zoo Environment Enrichment Theory and Practice

Success of zoo environmental enrichment, in spite of its widespread use and high significance for animals’ welfare, depends mainly upon keepers’ experience or the application of other zoos’ examples of daily practice. That’s why an algorithm based on some theoretical premises may be very useful for choosing the exact method of enrichment. We define the […]

Effects of environmental enrichment on reproduction

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430130507.abs Although there have been few demonstrations of a direct empirical relationship between environmental enrichment and reproductive success in captive animals, indirect and anecdotal evidence indicates the importance of physical and temporal complexity for reproduction. We discuss three major mechanisms through which environmental enrichment that specifically increases the complexity of an animal’s surroundings may […]

Stereotypies in polar bears

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430100209.abs The spatial and temporal patterns of stereotypies in three captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were analysed. There was considerable variation in the time budgets of the three animals: stereotypies made up 16.0%, 24.4 %, and 76.5 % of the observation time between 8.00 A.M. and 4.00 P.M. Stereotyped walking or swimming bouts were […]

Brief threatening events beneficial for captive tamarins?

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430090403.abs To evaluate speculation indirectly suggesting that brief arousal may be beneficial to animals, 39 cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) living in 4 large families were observed (a) after normal husbandry procedures that excite them (capture and brief removal of infants or older monkeys), (b) after exposure to an over-flying bird model, and (c) compared […]

Respiratory pattern in awake rats: Effects of motor activity and of alerting stimuli

Our aim was to assess the impact of motor activity and of arousing stimuli on respiratory rate in the awake rats. The study was performed in male adult Sprague–Dawley (SD, n = 5) and Hooded Wistar (HW, n = 5) rats instrumented for ECG telemetry. Respiratory rate was recorded using whole-body plethysmograph, with a piezoelectric […]

Enhanced fear recall and emotional arousal in rats recovering from chronic variable stress

Emergence of posttraumatic-like behaviors following chronic trauma is of interest given the rising prevalence of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Stress associated with combat usually involves chronic traumatization, composed of multiple, single episode events occurring in an unpredictable fashion. In this study, we investigated whether rats recovering from repeated trauma in the form of chronic […]

Comparing real-life and laboratory-induced stress reactivity on cardio-respiratory parameters: Differentiation of a tonic and a phasic component

To recreate stress in laboratory conditions, the nature of the elicited physiological reactions to the presentation of mental tasks has been extensively studied. However, whether this experimental response is equivalent to real-life stress reactivity is still under debate. We investigated cardio-respiratory reactivity to a sequential protocol of different mental tasks of varying difficulties, some of […]

Post-weaning social isolation induces abnormal forms of aggression in conjunction with increased glucocorticoid and autonomic stress responses

We showed earlier that social isolation from weaning (a paradigm frequently used to model social neglect in children) induces abnormal forms of attack in rats, and assumed that these are associated with hyperarousal. To investigate this hypothesis, we deprived rats of social contacts from weaning and studied their behavior, glucocorticoid and autonomic stress responses in […]

Modified Prenatal Sensory Stimulation Influences Postnatal Behavioral and Perceptual Responsiveness in Bobwhite Quail Chicks (Colinus virginianus)

Asynchronous bimodal stimulation during prenatal development elicits higher levels of behavioral and physiological arousal in precocial avian embryos than does unimodal sensory stimulation. To investigate whether the increased arousal associated with prenatal bimodal stimulation has enduring effects into postnatal development, bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) embryos received no supplemental stimulation, unimodal auditory stimulation, or bimodal (audiovisual) […]