The ontogeny of exploratory behavior in male and female adolescent rats (Rattus norvegicus).
Bottom Line: We predicted that, if dispersal patterns are associated with responsiveness to novelty, exploratory behavior in novel environments would increase across adolescence, and males would explore more than females.Total locomotion and amount of exploration directed towards aversive areas increased across adolescence, even when body weight was included as a covariate.Developmental changes in neural function potentially underlie age and sex differences in exploratory behavior.
Affiliation: School of Psychology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9JP, UK. firstname.lastname@example.orgShow MeSH
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Mentions: Total locomotion in the OF differed significantly between age groups (F2,22 = 6.67, p = .005) and between sexes (F1,22 = 7.62, p = .011), with locomotion increasing with age and females locomoting more than males. Post hoc tests revealed that late adolescents locomoted more than early adolescents (Fig. 1a). The main effects of age on total locomotion persisted when body weight was included as a covariate (F2,21 = 6.96, p = .005), with post hoc comparisons again revealing that late adolescents locomoted more than early adolescents (p = .003). Although the interaction between age and sex was not significant (F3,22 = 1.10, p = .351), the age and sex effects appear to be strongly influenced by the high levels of locomotion exhibited by late adolescent females.
Affiliation: School of Psychology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9JP, UK. email@example.com