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Psychiatric distress in animals versus animal models of psychiatric distress


The realm of human uniqueness steadily shrinks; reflecting this, other primates suffer from states closer to depression or anxiety than 'depressive-like' or 'anxiety-like behavior'. Nonetheless, there remain psychiatric domains unique to humans. Appreciating these continuities and discontinuities must inform the choice of neurobiological approach used in studying any animal model of psychiatric disorders. More fundamentally, the continuities reveal how aspects of psychiatric malaise run deeper than our species' history.

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Figure 1: Affective experiences on a continuum with humans; subjects are olive baboons (Papio anubis) living in the Serengeti ecosystem of East Africa.


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Correspondence to Robert M Sapolsky.

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Sapolsky, R. Psychiatric distress in animals versus animal models of psychiatric distress. Nat Neurosci 19, 1387–1389 (2016).

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