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Effects of Different Anxiety Levels on the Behavioral Patternings Investigated through T-pattern Analysis in Wistar Rats Tested in the Hole-Board Apparatus

  • Autori: Casarrubea, Maurizio; Di Giovanni, Giuseppe; Crescimanno, Giuseppe
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2021
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
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The Hole-Board is an ethologically based tool for investigating the anxiety-related behavior of rats following manipulation of the central anxiety level. The present paper aims to assess behavioral patterning following pharmacological manipulation of emotional assets in Wistar rats tested in this experimental apparatus. For this purpose, the behavior of three groups of rats injected with saline, diazepam or FG7142 was evaluated using conventional quantitative and multivariate T-pattern analyses. The results demonstrate that quantitative analyses of individual components of the behavior, disjointed from the comprehensive behavioral structure, are of narrow utility in the understanding of the subject's emotional condition. Among the components of the behavioral repertoire in rodents tested in the Hole-Board, Edge-Sniff and Head-Dip represent the most significant ones to rate anxiety level. They are characterized by a strong bivariate relationship and are also firmly part of the behavioral architecture, as revealed by the T-pattern analysis (TPA), a multivariate technique able to detect significant relationships among behavioral events over time. Edge-Sniff → Head-Dip sequences, in particular, are greatly influenced by the level of anxiety: barely detectable in control animals, they completely disappear in subjects with a reduced level of anxiety and are present in almost 25% of the total of T-patterns detected in subjects whose anxiety level increased.