Sex, age and shock-intensity as factors in passive avoidance

Physiol Behav. 1979 Nov;23(5):915-8. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(79)90200-2.


Sex, age and shock-intensity were studied in a step-through passive avoidance test. In adult rats (140 days) males showed more inhibition of a previously punished approach response. No sex differences were observed in young adult animals (60 days). In prepuberal animals (30 days), on the other hand, it was the females which showed more response inhibition. In prebuberty females showed far more response inhibition than in adulthood. Even when using 1.6 mA as a reinforcer, only 17% of the adult females showed inhibition after punishment of the entering response.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning*
  • Electroshock
  • Female
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Reaction Time
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Sex Factors