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Early stimulation by environmental enrichment generally leads to improved learning abilities in rodents. However, the effects of environmental enrichment on emotional reactivity remain more questionable and were mostly studied by using classical tests of anxiety based on confrontation with a novel environment. The main goal of our study was to use different(More)
RATIONALE The rodent elevated plus-maze is based on an approach/avoidance conflict between secure closed arms and aversive open arms that can be measured to assess anxiety. Despite this apparent simplicity, several discrepancies emerge from the interpretation of an animal's behavior in the maze, especially when considering the one-trial tolerance effect. (More)
Interactions between the organism and its environment, during pregnancy as well as during the postnatal period, can lead to important neurobehavioral changes. We briefly review the literature, and successively present the main results from our laboratory concerning the behavioral effects of prenatal stress, differential rearing conditions, and postnatal(More)
In this study, we tested the ability of risk assessment and exploration behaviours to emphasise PH effects. Indeed, postnatal handling (PH) decreases emotional reactivity in rats but inconsistent behavioural results can be observed and may be due to false negative (i.e. existing effects are not detected). Risk assessment behaviours were measured in the(More)
The effects of an enriched rearing environment on two types of anxiety-like behavior (designated "trait" and "state" anxiety) and on spontaneous activity were investigated in two inbred strains of mice, BALB/c (C) and C57BL/6(B6). Subjects were socially reared from birth to 56 days of age under enriched or standard rearing conditions. The enriched(More)
The ontogeny of the ability of C57BL/6 mice to use different cues for spatial learning was examined in several Morris water maze tasks. In the first two studies, three learning procedures were used, in which only distal cues (place learning), only proximal cues (cue learning), or both proximal and distal cues (cue + place learning) were pertinent to(More)
The development of the orientation capacities of C57BL/6 mice has been studied on the radial maze in several procedures allowed to dissociate the different types of cues used by the mouse for solving the task with two intersession delays (2 and 24 hr). The results of the first two studies show that performance is independent of intersession delay regardless(More)
A recent study reported few effects of postnatal handling in the defensive burying test. Since the importance of testing conditions has been emphasised in this paradigm, the lack of handling effects in this test could be attributed to the testing situation. Our experiment was carried out to test whether postnatal handling in DA/HAN strain rats have positive(More)
In rats, while pregnancy has been reported to increase emotional reactivity, postnatal handling, consisting in a short daily maternal separation during early life, has been shown to reduce it in several behavioural tests. In the present study, we investigated the potential effects of handling in pregnant rats confronted to various stressful situations. For(More)
We compared the learning performances of BALB/c mice subjected to the Morris water spatial task under two different lighting conditions. In the first one, the experimental room was lit by neon tubes (direct and bright illumination) and in the second one by a halogen lamp directed to the roof (diffuse illumination). The scores of BALB/c mice in the diffuse(More)