Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Frederick A. Ernst

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert K. Dearth

Third Advisor

Dr. Grant Benham


Handling has been used as a stressor and a stress-protector in research on development in rats. Tactile stimulation (TS), on the other hand, has consistently been shown to favorably affect the performance and exploratory behaviors of stressed rats in novel environments and this effect is usually interpreted as evidence of attenuating the developmentally-related emotional consequences of stress. In the present study, the effects of TS during maternal separation (MS) were explored during a critical period of development in rats. An open-field task to measure exploratory behavior was used as a dependent measure of anxiety at a pre-pubertal period. It was hypothesized that early handling would attenuate the emotional effects of MS with TS rats revealing more exploratory behavior.


Copyright 2010 Nancy I. Salinas. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American

Included in

Psychology Commons