Behavioural Differences in Brown-Norway and Wild-Type Rats Maintained in Standard or Enriched Environment in Response to Novelty in a Familiarised Environment


Maintaining animals in an enriched environment may have different effects on animals depending on their background. Wild-type rats, such as WWCPS (Warsaw Wild Captive Pisula Stryjek) rats, are at an early stage of adaptation to laboratory conditions, and we can hypothesise that enriched laboratory environment provides them with conditions much closer to a natural habitat than standard laboratory cages. The WWCPS rats responded to novelty by orienting their behaviour towards the source of change, followed by rapid habituation of that response. The laboratory rats responded similarly to WWCPS rats immediately after the change, but their increased activity in that section of the experimental cage was not subjected to habituation. We propose, that for animals at early stages of domestication, information-seeking is more important in the regulation of their behaviour than it is for fully domesticated animals. In the latter, it is the stimulus-seeking that dominates behaviour regulation. Laboratory rats, and WWCPS rats showed different profiles of response to maintaining in the enriched laboratory conditions.

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Pisula, W. , Modlinska, K. , Chrzanowska, A. & Stryjek, R. (2015). Behavioural Differences in Brown-Norway and Wild-Type Rats Maintained in Standard or Enriched Environment in Response to Novelty in a Familiarised Environment. Psychology, 6, 251-262. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.63025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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