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Abstract / Description of output
We will test whether our PH protocol gives rise to more uniform increases in positive affect across individuals relative to protocols involving pinning. We will compare the response of juvenile male and female Wistar rats as: Control (hand remains still against the side of the test arena), P0 (PH with no pinning), P1 (PH with one pin), P4 (PH with four pins). P1 and P4 consist of a background of PH, with treatments involving administration of an increasing dosage of pinning per PH session.
We hypothesise that rats exposed to handling protocols that maximise playful interactions (where pinning number per session decreases) will show an overall increase in total 50 kHz USV as an indicator of positive affect, with less variability. We will explore whether behavioural and physiological changes associated with alterations in PH experience are less variable.
We propose that maximising the numbers of rats experiencing tickling as a positive experience will reduce the variation in response variables affected by tickling and increase the repeatability of research where tickling is applied either as a social enrichment or as a treatment.
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