Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Other Psychology | Psychology
This study pertained to the effects of environmental enrichment, which is a physical post-weaning treatment that has been shown to induce beneficial changes in behavior, in two mouse models. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts social behavior and communication. It has been found to develop due to both genetic and environmental influences, and to be comorbid with anxiety disorders. The present study assessed anxious behavior, as measured by the elevated plus task, as an indirect symptom of Autism. Maternally separated CD-1 mice were used as a model of environmentally influenced autism and BTBR mice were used as a model of genetically influenced autism. The results indicated that the process of maternal separation did not induce more anxious behavior when compared to controls, but environmental enrichment was found to reduce anxious behavior in both maternally separated animals and controls. They also indicated that there was an effect of strain on behavior when comparing BTBR mice and controls, but no significant effects of enrichment were found.
Burke, Khemiah, "A Comparison of Anxiety-related Behavior on the Elevated Plus Task Following Environmental Enrichment in Two Mouse models for Autism" (2019). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 1095.
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