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Genetic selection through open arm exploration in albino rats and its effects on emotionality and learning

Grant number: 11/17764-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2012
Effective date (End): February 23, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Physiological Psychology
Principal Investigator:Silvio Morato de Carvalho
Grantee:Thiago Marques de Brito
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The study aims at selecting two strains of Wistar rats, one with high frequency of anxiety-related behaviors and another with low frequency of anxiety-related behaviors, which then can be used to investigate possible influences of anxiety on learning processes and their correlations with fear and impulsivity. Thus, using time spent in open arm of an elevated plus-maze as criterion, the animals will be divided into two different groups: one presenting more exploratory behavior of the open arms (Exp+) - less anxiety - and another presenting less exploratory behavior (Exp-) - more anxiety-related behavior. In the sixth, ninth and twelfth generations, a battery of learning tasks (passive avoidance, differential reinforcement of low frequency response (DRL) and resistance to extinction of response), and tests assessing the fear response (startle) and impulsivity (elevated gradient of risk aversion).The present study is intended to seek an alternative model for understanding both behavioral responses to anxiety as well as factors related to learning processes.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
BRITO, Thiago Marques de. Genetic selection of an elevated plus-maze open arms by albino rats and its effect in emotion and learning.. 2015. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (PCARP/BC) Ribeirão Preto.

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