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The Behavior of the Laboratory RatA Handbook with Tests$
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Ian Q. Whishaw and Bryan Kolb

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162851.001.0001

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Individual Differences

Individual Differences

Chapter:
(p.37) 4 Individual Differences
Source:
The Behavior of the Laboratory Rat
Author(s):

Guy Mittleman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162851.003.0004

This chapter suggests that rats, like humans, display profound individual differences that have relevance for understanding a variety of normal and pathological conditions. Variability in the response to drugs, lesions, or various other experimental manipulations are frequently observed in animals, but they are often attributed to experimental error along with the natural range of variation occurring between individuals of the same species. It is shown that that much within-experiment variability consists of individual differences. Exploiting these individual differences has a potentially large payoff in terms of modeling the behavioral and physiological differences observed between humans as well as providing a means of exploring the factors that control the expression of such differences.

Keywords:   laboratory rats, individual differences, rat behavior, behavioral differences, physiological differences

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