Non-Homologous Animal Models of Affective Disorders: Clinical Relevance of Sensitization and Kindling

  • Robert M. Post
  • Susan R. B. Weiss


In many ways this chapter would be better titled “uses and abuses of animal models of affective disorders.” The previous two chapters have outlined some of the systematic criteria for the development and use of animal models for various psychiatric disorders, including: similarity of behaviors, inducing agents or principles, biochemical and physiological correlates, and pharmacological responsivity. These criteria have been widely accepted, as have, for example, the criteria for confirming that a given chemical is a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Without fulfilling each of several criteria, a putative neurotransmitter candidate cannot be considered “proven.” The paradigms discussed in this chapter cannot be considered formal animal models for affective disorder, as they do not meet many of the basic requirements of an animal model. In particular, there is little evidence of (1) parallel inducing procedures, (2) behavioral homology to the disorder studied, or (3) selective response to those pharmacological interventions that are successful in affective illness. Nonetheless, these models are potentially useful for other purposes. Specifically, they help focus on possible parallel processes in the clinical situation that can be conceptualized in new ways, perhaps leading to a new series of clinical-research formulations, testable hypotheses, and even pharmacotherapies.


Affective Disorder Behavioral Sensitization Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Affective Illness Limbic Seizure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Birkhäuser Boston 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Post
  • Susan R. B. Weiss

There are no affiliations available

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