ERIC Number: ED104870
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Applications of Animal Research in the Behavioral Sciences: Effects of Chronic Exercise on Emotionality in Rats.
Tharp, Gerald D.
The psychological effects of exercise training are difficult to study in humans, but analogous emotionality changes in animals can be studied using simple measurements employed in emergence and open-field tests. The basis of these tests is that animals that are more emotional are more fearful when placed in a novel situation and will exhibit less exploratory activity. Conversely, less emotional animals will explore a new situation more readily. The emotionality of the following five groups of rats were tested after an eight-week training period: (a) controls or sedentary; (b) runners or treadmill trained; (c) walkers with treadmill exposure; (d) swimmers; and (e) waders. The control rats were judged to be more emotional as indicated by their longer emergence times in the tunnel test; and their longer latency times, greater number of boluses, and lower total squares in the open-field test. Evidence that chronic physical exertion is able to lower emotionality is shown by the greater number of total squares entered in the open-field by the runners and swimmers as compared to other groups. Animal studies such as these may prove useful for studying changes with exercise, just as they have proven useful in psychological research. (Author/JS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education; and Recreation (Atlantic City, New Jersey, March 17, 1975)