• Social Transmission of Avoidance Behavior under Situational Change in Learned and Unlearned Rats

      Masuda, Akira; Aou, Shuji; Tsien, Joe Z.; Department of Neurology; College of Graduate Studies (2009-08-27)
      Background: Rats receive information from other conspecifics by observation or other types of social interaction. Such social interaction may contribute to the effective adaptation to changes of environment such as situational switching. Learning to avoid dangerous places or objects rapidly occurs with even a single conditioning session, and the conditioned memory tends to be sustained over long periods. The avoidance is important for adaptation, but the details of the conditions under which the social transmission of avoidance is formed are unknown. We demonstrate that the previous experience of avoidance learning is important for the formation of behaviors for social transmission of avoidance and that the experienced rats adapt to a change of situation determined by the presence or absence of aversive stimuli. We systematically investigated social influence on avoidance behavior using a passive avoidance test in a light/dark two-compartment apparatus.