Context-dependent individual differences in playfulness in male rats

Lampe, Jessica F. and Burman, Oliver and Wurbel, Hanno and Melotti, Luca (2017) Context-dependent individual differences in playfulness in male rats. Developmental Psychobiology, 59 (4). pp. 460-472. ISSN 0012-1630

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Abstract

Play has been proposed as an indicator of positive emotions and welfare in higher vertebrates.
This study investigated playfulness in male rats by exploring its consistency across motivational
states (with/without prior short social isolation) and two age points at early and late
adolescence. Twenty-four male Lister Hooded rats housed in cages of four underwent two play
tests: conspecific Play-in-Pairs and Tickling by the experimenter, which were compared with
play in the home cage and basal anxiety levels. Play-in-Pairs measures were consistent across
age and motivational states, and were independent from anxiety. Positively valenced
vocalizations in the Tickling test were also consistent across age, yet were negatively related
to anxiety. Play-in-Pairs and Tickling play contexts, as well as social and solitary play types, were
unrelated. Therefore, this study supports the existence of consistent individual differences in
playfulness in rats, and suggests that different play contexts and types represent motivationally
distinct systems.

Keywords:personality, social play, play development
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:28006
Deposited On:18 Jul 2017 18:09

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