Animal Learning & Behavior

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 193–198 | Cite as

The effects of isolation rearing on exploration in the rat

  • B. J. Sahakian
  • T. W. Robbins
  • S. D. Iversen


The hypothesis that isolation rearing enhances exploration was tested in two settings which varied the extent to which exploratory behavior would be affected by competing hyperactivity. Experiment 1 measured exploration as contact of a discrete novel stimulus, in terms of bout frequency and duration. Locomotor activity was measured by photocell beam interruption. Isolation-reared rats were hyperactive, showed an increased incidence of exploratory bouts but no differences in duration of exploratory behavior, compared with group-reared controls. Experiment 2 measured, independently, locomotor activity and the preference for a novel environment over a familiar one. Isolation-reared rats, whether male or female, showed enhanced novelty preference compared with controls. No significant differences were found in locomotor activity. The results are discussed in terms of the hyperactivity of isolates interfering with investigative behavior by response incompatibility.


Locomotor Activity Stimulus Object Novelty Preference Isolation Rear Investigative Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. J. Sahakian
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. W. Robbins
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. D. Iversen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CambridgeCambridgeEngland
  2. 2.Psychological LaboratoryCambridgeEngland

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