Chickens that had received bilateral injections of cycloheximide or glutamate into the forebrain on day 2 of life and tested 4 weeks later showed no deficit in acquisition, performance or extinction of continuously reinforced appetitive key-pecking as compared to control birds injected with saline. However, chickens that had received injections of cycloheximide and were subsequently tested in an open-field apparatus took longer to leave the first square, defaecated more, and pecked, preened and moved about less than controls. They also showed longer durations of tonic immobility. Those injected with glutamate exhibited similar behaviour but were not significantly different from controls in the open field latency to leave the first square, defaecation, or tonic immobility tests. The above treatments have previously been described as producing permanent slowed learning in chickens on a pebble-floor task. Our results suggest that learning mechanisms may not be disrupted as shown by normal performance in a simple operant task but that enhanced emotionality or fear of novelty as revealed in the open field tests may interfere with the expression of learning behaviour in some situations.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Behavioural Brain Research|
|Publication status||Published - 1982|
- emotional reactions
- operant behavior
- retarded learning
- tonic immobility