Learned Helplessness in Rats: The Effects of Electroconvulsive Shock in an Animal Model of Depression

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The response deficit following exposure to inescapable shock has been termed "learned helplessness." This experiment was designed (a) to determine whether learned helplessness following an inescapable footshock induction procedure extends to 48 hours, and (b) to test the hypothesis that electroconvulsive shock (ECS) reverses learned helplessness in rats. Subjects were tested for helplessness in a bar-press shock-escape task. Results indicated that helplessness was not present 48 hours after exposure to inescapable shock. A slight indication of helplessness was observed in the first 10 trials of the 60-trial task. In addition, ECS was shown to enhance performance in the test task; ... continued below

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v, 29 leaves : ill.

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Thrasher, Ronald Keith August 1979.

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  • Thrasher, Ronald Keith

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The response deficit following exposure to inescapable shock has been termed "learned helplessness." This experiment was designed (a) to determine whether learned helplessness following an inescapable footshock induction procedure extends to 48 hours, and (b) to test the hypothesis that electroconvulsive shock (ECS) reverses learned helplessness in rats.
Subjects were tested for helplessness in a bar-press shock-escape task. Results indicated that helplessness was not present 48 hours after exposure to inescapable shock. A slight indication of helplessness was observed in the first 10 trials of the 60-trial task. In addition, ECS was shown to enhance performance in the test task; however, this facilitation effect was seen only in control animals that were not previously exposed to inescapable footshock.

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v, 29 leaves : ill.

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  • August 1979

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  • May 10, 2015, 6:16 a.m.

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Thrasher, Ronald Keith. Learned Helplessness in Rats: The Effects of Electroconvulsive Shock in an Animal Model of Depression, thesis, August 1979; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc504640/: accessed August 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .