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Social interactions serve as an evolutionarily important source of stress, and one that is virtually ubiquitous among mammalian species. Animal models of social stress are varied, ranging from a focus on acute, intermittent, or chronic exposure involving agonistic behavior, to social isolation. The relative stressfulness of these experiences may depend on(More)
The natural defensive behaviors of laboratory mice have been evaluated in both seminatural and highly structured situations; and characterized in terms of eliciting stimuli, response to pharmacological agents, behavior patterns, and outcome or effect on the social and physical environment. The defense patterns of laboratory mice and rats are generally(More)
In a straight alley containing a cat odor stimulus rats show high rates of risk assessment, including flat back approach and stretch attend behaviors oriented toward the threat stimulus and contact with the stimulus. In this situation, diazepam (2.0 and 4.0 mg/kg) significantly reduced risk assessment measures (flat back approach + stretch attend), while(More)
In mixed-sex rat groups consistent asymmetries in offensive and defensive behaviors of male dyads are associated with the development of dominance hierarchies. Subordinate males can be differentiated from dominants on the basis of both agonistic and non-agonistic behaviors, wound patterns, weight changes. Their behavior changes suggest chronic defensiveness(More)
Paul MacLean's work has exemplified and encouraged an approach in which natural behaviors are elicited and investigated in laboratory settings. Our own experiences with bringing natural behaviors into the laboratory indicate that this is best achieved by providing the social and environmental stimuli necessary to support these behaviors and by an initial(More)
When a cat was presented to groups of 3 male and 2 female laboratory rats in the open area of a visible burrow system, the rats retreated to the burrow system and showed high levels of 18-24 kHz ultrasonic cries during the cat presentation and for 30 min following removal of the cat. Latency to make ultrasonic vocalizations, durations of these(More)
Defensive behaviors comprise a set of flexible and adaptive responses to threatening situations and stimuli. In semi-natural situations affording a wide variety of responses, defensive behaviors change over time in response to information about the presence of danger, acquired through risk assessment activities. Two test batteries, a Fear/Defense Test(More)
In mixed-sex rat groups maintained in visible burrow systems (VBS), consistent asymmetries in offensive and defensive behaviors of male dyads are associated with the development of dominance hierarchies. Subordinate males are characterized by particular wound patterns, severe weight loss, and a variety of behavioral changes, many of them isomorphic to(More)