Individual Differences

Guy Mittleman

in The Behavior of the Laboratory Rat

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195162851
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199863891 | DOI:
 Individual Differences

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This chapter suggests that rats, like humans, display profound individual differences that have relevance for understanding a variety of normal and pathological conditions. Variability in the response to drugs, lesions, or various other experimental manipulations are frequently observed in animals, but they are often attributed to experimental error along with the natural range of variation occurring between individuals of the same species. It is shown that that much within-experiment variability consists of individual differences. Exploiting these individual differences has a potentially large payoff in terms of modeling the behavioral and physiological differences observed between humans as well as providing a means of exploring the factors that control the expression of such differences.

Keywords: laboratory rats; individual differences; rat behavior; behavioral differences; physiological differences

Chapter.  5271 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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