Isolation-induced locomotor hyperactivity and hypoalgesia in rats are prevented by handling and reversed by resocialization

Physiol Behav. 1988;43(1):13-6. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(88)90091-1.


Differences in locomotor activity in the open field were found between individually and group-housed rats (isol greater than soc). Daily handling, initiated at postnatal day 1, was without effect in group-housed rats but prevented the isolation-induced hyperactivity. For tail-flick latency, strikingly similar differences (isol greater than soc; prevention by handling) have been observed. The isolation-induced aberrations in both locomotor reactivity in a novel environment and in pain sensitivity could be reversed by subsequent resocialization. This indicates that the altered sensitivities to external stimuli are caused by the environmental manipulation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arousal*
  • Female
  • Handling, Psychological*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Pain Measurement*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reaction Time
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Environment
  • Social Isolation*