Lecture-29 - Behavioural Pharmacology III Behavioural...

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Behavioural Pharmacology III Behavioural models of mental disorders Animal models of human disorders are useful in the development of new drugs for those disorders. A. Models for Anxiety 1. Elevated plus maze An elevated plus maze is a cross-shaped (t-shaped) maze elevated 3-5 feet above the floor, with four narrow arms into which animals may move. Two arms are completely open while the other two have walls high enough to prevent the animal from seeing the distance to the floor. When placed in this maze rats will try to explore their environment, but at the same time they are hesitant to venture on the open arms. Generally they stay in the arms of the maze that have walls. Rats administered anxiolytics such as benzodiazepines will spend more time in the open arms of the maze, indicating that the drugs have reduced their anxiety.
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2. Conditioned emotional response A hungry animal is placed in a small chamber in which it has previously been taught to press a lever to obtain a food reward. Once this training is complete (the rat has reached criterion performance), the rat is exposed to some sort of sensory stimulus (such as a tone) for 2-3 minutes. At the end of the application of stimulus, a brief foot shock is delivered; the rat quickly learns to associate the tone with the impending foot shock. It will thus lever press quickly until it hears the tone, at which point lever pressing drops off considerably.
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Lecture-29 - Behavioural Pharmacology III Behavioural...

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