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Estudos de Psicologia (Natal)

On-line version ISSN 1678-4669


MARTINEZ, Raquel; GARCIA, Andrea Milena Becerra  and  MORATO, Silvio. Role of vivarium illumination in rat behavior in the elevated plus-maze. Estud. psicol. (Natal) [online]. 2005, vol.10, n.2, pp.239-245. ISSN 1678-4669.

There is little information about the environments where rats are kept before being tested. In order to investigate the role of vivarium illumination, male Wistar rats were submitted to a 96-h period of continuous illumination, continuous dark or a 12:12 h light/dark cycle and tested in the elevated plus-maze in a lit (150 lux) or a dark room (0 lux). Results showed that neither vivarium illumination nor darkness for 96 h altered the rats' behavior in comparison to that of rats kept under the 12-h light/dark cycle. Luminosity during the test, however, was important: no matter what the vivarium illumination was, rats tested in the dark room explored more the open arms of the maze, an already reported result which is interpreted as decreased anxiety in this apparatus.

Keywords : elevated plus-maze; rat exploratory behavior; vivarium illumination; luminosity during the test.

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