Miami University College of Arts and Sciences, USA
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Neurol Neurophysiol
Early life stress has been shown through various experiments and settings to have long term effects on emotions, cognition and behavior. One important aspect of behavior can be studied through social interaction tests in rats. A direct comparison of acute versus chronic early life stress on adolescent and adult social behavior has not been studied. The aim of the study is to understand whether exposure to acute and/or chronic early life stress will show decreased social interaction, increased anxiety and/or Stress-Enhanced Fear Learning (SEFL) during adolescence and/or adulthood. Acute early life stress will be induced using 15-foot shocks in one session on PND 17. Chronic early life stress will be induced using a limited nesting and bedding model on Postnatal Days (PND) 2-9. Social interaction, anxiety and SEFL will be studied in adolescent and adult rats through the Social Interaction (SI) test, Elevated Zero Maze (EZM), Open-Field (OF) test and SEFL procedures. It is hypothesized that both acute and chronic early life stress will result in decreased social interaction during both adolescence and adulthood. It is further hypothesized that only the chronic early life stress will increase anxiety. Finally, it is anticipated that the acute early life stress will produce SEFL in adulthood (as we and others have shown many times), but it is unclear from the existing literature whether chronic forms of early life stress will lead to subsequent increases in fear learning and responding.
Katelyn Scheive is pursuing two undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Integrated Social Studies Education from Miami University, Ohio, USA.