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The Propensity for Schedule-Induced Polydipsia is Related to Differences in Conditioned Avoidance Behaviour and in Defense Reactions in a Defeat Test

By R. Dantzer, C. Terlouw, A. Tazi, J.M. Koolhaas, B. Bohus, G.F. Koob and M. le Moal


In line with previous research showing that animals predisposed to develop schedule-induced polydipsia when submitted to intermittent distribution of food show differential behavioural and neurochemical characteristics, the present experiments investigated the nature of defense reactions to aversive situations in rats that do or do not develop schedule-induced polydipsia. It was found that rats that engage in excessive drinking during intermittent feeding display more rapid active avoidance learning in a 2-way shuttle-box and show less freezing when confronted with an aggressive resident male in a defeat test than those that do not develop schedule-induced polydipsia. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that individual differences in the propensity to exhibit oral consummatory activities in conditions of mild stress are related to the ability to shift behavioural programmes in response to external stimulation.

Year: 1988
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