Validating an Animal Model of PTSD Through Open Field Behavior



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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a prevalent anxiety disorder that affects people all over the world. Animal models are often used in clinical research to study human disorders; rats and humans share some similar genetic and biological traits. The open field model is a common paradigm for testing locomotor activity and anxiety related behaviors in rats. This study looks at the effect of anxiety-like behaviors in an open field on a rodent model of PTSD. Anxiety-like behaviors were examined after exposure to either restraint stress and predator odor or no restraint stress and no predator odor. Significant differences were found in three of the open field measures assessed in attempts to validate an animal model of PTSD through open field behavior.