Animal models for information processing during sleep

Information provided by external stimuli does reach the brain during sleep, although the amount of information is reduced during sleep compared to wakefulness. The process controlling this reduction is called ‘sensory’ gating and evidence exists that the underlying neurophysiological processes take place in the thalamus. Furthermore, it is clear that stimuli given during sleep can […]

Crate conditioning of bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) for veterinary and husbandry procedures at the Denver Zoological Gardens

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1998)17:13.3.CO;2-N Crate conditioning of bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) at the Denver Zoological Gardens made it possible to perform veterinary and husbandry procedures without chemical or manual restraint. Procedures included blood sampling, injections, wound treatment, milk collection, and caudal tail fold tuberculin testing. Habituation and positive reinforcement techniques were used to accomplish conditioning. The methods used […]

Sex differences in learning processes of classical and operant conditioning

Males and females learn and remember differently at different times in their lives. These differences occur in most species, from invertebrates to humans. We review here sex differences as they occur in laboratory rodent species. We focus on classical and operant conditioning paradigms, including classical eyeblink conditioning, fear-conditioning, active avoidance and conditioned taste aversion. Sex […]

Common toads (Bufo arenarum) learn to anticipate and avoid hypertonic saline solutions

Toads (Bufo arenarum) were exposed to pairings between immersion in a neutral saline solution (i.e., one that caused no significant variation in fluid balance), followed by immersion in a highly hypertonic saline solution (i.e., one that caused water loss). In Experiment 1, solutions were presented in a Pavlovian conditioning arrangement. A group receiving a single […]

Conditioned approach-avoidance responses to humans: the ability of pigs to associate feeding and aversive social experiences in the presence of humans with humans

Since there is a number of common industry husbandry procedures conducted by stockpersons that may have rewarding or aversive elements for pigs, pigs may learn to associate these rewarding or aversive elements of a procedure with the handler conducting the procedure. Therefore, because of this second-order conditioning, changes in the behavioural response of pigs to […]

Amelioration of Laboratory Conditions for Pigeons (Columba Livia)

Learning tests in animal psychology are highly standardized with regard to both the formulation of scientific questions and the methods employed to obtain reliable answers. The Skinnerian technique of conditioning rats or pigeons in small test chambers has established itself as the main laboratory method in this field. Despite the undeniable advantages of highly controlled […]

Behavioral development of a polar bear cub (Ursus maritimus) in captivity

The difficulty of observing polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the wild has prohibited the gathering of behavioral data necessary to develop a baseline set of milestones for monitoring cub development. This study describes and quantifies previously undocumented trends in behavior observed in a captive cub–information that will be useful both in future comparative studies and […]

The effects of environmental control on cognition in rats (Rattus norvegicus)

The aim of this study was to allow nonhuman animals to control their environment using operant conditioning procedures and to assess the effect of control on cognitive tasks. The study tested 4 predictions: (a) rats (Rattus norvegicus) will control a light stimulus; (b) animals will exhibit preferences for particular stimulus strengths; (c) animals who exert […]

Persistency of the piglet’s reactivity to the handler following a previous positive or negative experience

A central question in the stockman–animal relationship is how animals perceive humans depending on previous interactions with them. This study aimed at measuring the influence of a previous experience with humans on subsequent reactivity to humans of weaned piglets. Treatments differing in type (intrinsic vs extrinsic to the human) and valence (positive vs negative) of […]

Effect of predictability on the stress response to chasing in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) parr

The possibility to prepare for and respond to challenges in a proper manner is essential to cope with a changing environment, and learning allows fish to up or downregulate the stress response based on experience. The regulation of the response to predicted needs should be easier in more predictable environments. We exposed salmon parr to […]