Behavioural Correlates of the Oestrous Cycle in the Rat

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CHANGES in certain behavioral functions including learning and exploratory behavior during the oestrous cycle of the intact rat have been reported1,2. Gray and Levine3 recently re-opened the question of the extent to which sex differences in such essentially non-sexual behavior could be determined by the altered behavior of females during oestrus (heat). They induced oestrus in rats of the Maudsley reactive (MR) and non-reactive (MNR) strains by injections of oestrogen and progesterone and observed that emotionality as defined by emotional elimination and ambulatory activity in the open-field test was reduced. Our purpose is to repeat this work using natural as opposed to induced oestrus and to extend it both by the use of other inbred strains and measures of learning as well as emotionality.

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BURKE, A., BROADHURST, P. Behavioural Correlates of the Oestrous Cycle in the Rat. Nature 209, 223–224 (1966) doi:10.1038/209223a0

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