Effects of experimentally necessary changes in husbandry on olfactory memory: Chronic food restriction and social isolation

Physiol Behav. 2016 Mar 1:155:38-45. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.12.002. Epub 2015 Dec 3.


Changes to typical procedures in animal husbandry are often necessary to accommodate the needs of behavioral experiments. Two common changes in husbandry for rodents are light chronic food restriction (to motivate animals in reward-association tasks) and social isolation (to accommodate individual feeding schedules or need to reduce interactions because of implants for example). Each of these intervention individually has been shown to modulate behavioral state and with it performance in behavioral tasks. We here systematically test how social isolation and light chronic food restriction modulate olfactory memory in rats. Our results show a strong modulation of olfactory memory after both types of husbandry interventions. These results suggest that common changes in animal husbandry promote distinct and relevant changes in animal behavior.

Keywords: Food restriction; Memory; Olfactory; Social isolation.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry / methods*
  • Animals
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Housing, Animal
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Olfactory Perception*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Social Isolation / psychology*