Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 303–308 | Cite as

Automated measure of conditioned orienting behavior in rats

  • Christopher S. Keene
  • David J. BucciEmail author


The behavioral and neural mechanisms of orienting behavior have interested experimental psychologists for the last several decades. For example, in the framework of associative learning, examining the brain substrates of orienting behavior has yielded significant insight into the neural basis of attentional function and learning. The present study describes a procedure by which the orienting response to a visual stimulus (rearing on the hind legs) can be monitored automatically, and it validates the procedure by comparing data generated by the automated procedure with data generated by the typical observational procedure. The automated procedure provides an inexpensive means of obtaining immediate, online assessment of rearing behavior during a conditioning session, reduces the possibility of experimenter bias, and significantly reduces the time required to evaluate observational data.


Conditioned Stimulus Associative Strength Pavlovian Conditioning Animal Behavior Process Orient Response 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesDarmouth CollegeHanover

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