International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 10 Num. 1 - March 2010


Visual-olfactory Contact with a Receptive Female Reduces Anxiety in Reward Downshift and Open Field Tests in Male Rats

Volume 10 Num. 1 - March 2010 - Pages 95-105


Marina In?s Cuello , Esteban Freidin , Alba Elisabeth Mustaca


Ejaculation has been shown to have anxiolytic-like effects in a consummatory Successive Negative Contrast situation. Present research was conducted with the main goal of replicating and testing whether ejaculation is a necessary factor to obtain anti-anxiety effects after socio-sexual stimulation in both a reward downshift situation and in an open field test. In Experiment 1, male rats were tested in the second post-shift session of a 32% to 4% sucrose solution downshift after having the chance of an ejaculation, visual-olfactory contact with a receptive female, or no contact with females. Similarly to treatments with anxiolytic drugs, increments in consumption after the initial consummatory reduction were equivalent for ejaculatory and visual-olfactory conditions relative to controls not exposed to females. In Experiment 2, the same treatments were applied before males were placed in an open field. Ejaculators and visual-olfactory males did not significantly differ from controls in terms of general activity, though both groups had significantly more average time in central areas of the open field than the control group. Altogether, present experiments provided evidence that socio-sexual stimulation in male rats is a sufficient factor in reducing anxiety responses in a reward downshift situation. In addition, this anxiolytic-like effect of ejaculation and socio-sexual stimulation is extensive to novel context situations.

Key words:

anxiety, frustration, open field, sexual behavior, ejaculation, male rats

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