Ontogenetic analysis of behavior in the tail suspension test: Temporal differences in the emergence of within- and between-session habituation in Swiss mice.

Developmental psychobiology

PubMedID: 24037536

Manhães AC, Paes-Branco D, Caparelli-Dáquer EM, Nunes F, Krahe TE, Abreu-Villaça Y, Filgueiras CC. Ontogenetic analysis of behavior in the tail suspension test: Temporal differences in the emergence of within- and between-session habituation in Swiss mice. Dev Psychobiol. 2013;.
Habituation is an important tool in the investigation of learning/memory throughout life. Despite that, few studies describe habituation from an ontogenetic perspective. Considering that, as soon as they are born, rodents can twist their bodies when lifted by their tails in an attempt to escape, this behavior should be well suited to study habituation behavior from birth to adulthood. Here, we implement a tail suspension test to study the ontogenetic development of habituation in Swiss mice. Our data indicate that a continuous within-session decrease in trunk movements can be observed from postnatal day (P) 10 onwards and that between-sessions habituation (from one day to another) can be observed from P16 onwards. Furthermore, we show that the adult pattern of within- and between-sessions reductions in activity is already present by the beginning of adolescence, at P28. Our results indicate that between-sessions habituation involves a more complex mechanism of memory and learning than within-session habituation, requiring a longer period of brain maturation before it can be displayed. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 9999: 1-7, 2013.