Anxiety & Depression

In all higher organisms, fear is a powerful incentive for learning. In rodents, a number of paradigms ranging from the simple to the more complex have been developed which help to analyze mechanisms and traits of fear behavior and learning. These analyses also help to further our knowledge on depressive behavior, which is characterized by symptoms such as loss of interest or pleasure, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.

The paradigms make use of innate behavioral traits of rodents, such as the tendency to avoid open areas, or well-lit places. They are quantifiable, automatable and have been used successfully to study the effects of anxiolytic drugs, hormones, or other compounds.

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