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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)
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)
An anxiety/defense test battery was designed to assess defensive reactions of laboratory rats to situations associated with nonpainful threat (exposure to a cat). The battery measured three defense patterns, movement inhibition, risk assessment behaviors, and inhibition of nondefensive behaviors, in two tasks. Diazepam (4.0 mg/kg) altered four of five risk(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)
The BTBR T+tf/J inbred mouse strain displays a variety of persistent phenotypic alterations similar to those exhibited in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The unique genetic background of the BTBR strain is thought to underlie its lack of reciprocal social interactions, elevated repetitive self-directed grooming, and restricted exploratory behaviors. In(More)
The Mouse Defense Test Battery (MDTB) has been designed to investigate defensive responses of Swiss-Webster mice confronted with a natural threat, a rat. These behaviors include flight, avoidance, defensive threat/attack reactions, and risk assessment activities. In the present study, a factor analysis was used to examine potential relationships between(More)
The Mouse Defense Test Battery (MDTB) has been designed to assess defensive reactions in Swiss-Webster mice to situations associated with a natural predator, the rat. Primary measures taken before, during and after predator confrontation comprise escape attempts, predator assessment, defensive attack and flight. Previous reports from this laboratory have(More)