An extract of wild green oat (Avena sativa L.), was tested in vivo in rats for its behavioural effects after chronic oral administration via extract-admixed food. Thirty six male Sprague-Dawley rats received (A) standard diet (controls), (B) 10 g/kg extract-admixed food or (C) 100 g/kg extract-admixed food. The following behavioural tests were performed: elevated plus maze, forced swimming, conditioned avoidance response and tetradic encounter. Body weight, food and fluid consumption were measured and apparent physical appearance was determined twice a week. Apart from a slightly decreased food and fluid intake in the high dose group there were no side effects observed during the treatment. The low dose led to an improvement of active stress response, an enhancement of shock avoidance learning and an increased synchrony in social behaviour. It may be concluded that the wild green oat extract is suitable to improve behavioural initiative in different situations.
(c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.