Environmental Enrichment
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2021 ◽  
pp. canprevres.0085.2021
Nicholas J Queen ◽  
Hong Deng ◽  
Wei Huang ◽  
Xiaokui Mo ◽  
Ryan K Wilkins ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Price E. Dickson ◽  
Guy Mittleman

AbstractSensation seeking is a multidimensional phenotype that predicts the development of drug addiction in humans and addiction-like drug seeking in rodents. Several lines of evidence suggest that chronic stress increases sensation seeking and addiction-like drug seeking through common genetic mechanisms. Discovery and characterization of these mechanisms would reveal how chronic stress interacts with the genome to influence sensation seeking and how drugs of abuse hijack these fundamental reward mechanisms to drive addiction. To this end, we tested the hypothesis that chronic isolation housing stress (relative to environmental enrichment) influences operant sensation seeking as a function of strain, sex, or their interaction. To determine if the BXD recombinant inbred panel could be used to identify genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying any identified gene-by-environment interactions, we used mice from the two BXD founder strains. Following 10 weeks of differential housing, we assessed operant sensation seeking using several reinforcement schedules. The primary finding from this study was that DBA/2J but not C57BL/6J mice were significantly vulnerable to an isolation-induced increase (relative to environmental enrichment) in sensation seeking during extinction when the sensory reward was no longer available; this effect was significantly more robust in females. These data reveal a previously unknown isolation-induced effect on extinction of operant sensation seeking that is sex-dependent, addiction-relevant, and that can be dissected using the BXD recombinant inbred panel.

2021 ◽  
Dorothee Therrien ◽  
Aurore Dodelet-Devilliers

Abstract In the field of laboratory animals, there have been considerable improvements in environmental enrichment for mammalian species, but little remains available for aquatic species, in particular fish. Recent publications have shown benefits in providing laboratory Zebrafish (Danio rerio) certain types of enrichments, such as substrate and plants. This research article proposes a novel tank enrichment called the Aqualabyrinth, and the benefit of its use in laboratory Zebrafish. While the enrichment won 3rd place at the 2020 Janet Wood Innovation Award (JWIA) competition, the Aqualabyrinth is not yet available on the market. This novel enrichment proposes similar if not more qualities than current aquatic enrichments commercially available. More specifically, its ease of usage, maintenance, and modular configuration options make it an ideal choice for Laboratory fish tanks. Results showed interaction on average up to 10.5 per 3 fish within a 30 second test interval versus 6.25 per 3 fish within 30 seconds interval for a mouse igloo. With the additional benefits highlighted in this study, the Aqualabyrinth proves to be an efficient and practical environmental enrichment option, pending collaboration with interested manufacturers.

2021 ◽  
Vol 2 (3) ◽  
pp. 473-486
Courtney Keane Collins ◽  
Sean McKeown ◽  
Ruth O’Riordan

Inspiring visitors to engage in conservation-related behaviour following a zoo visit is a primary objective for most zoos. Animal–visitor interactive (AVI) experiences are often central to this goal. Yet, these interactive experiences are insufficiently evaluated from both the visitors’ and captive animals’ perspectives. The current study took place at Fota Wildlife Park and involved the construction of an environmental enrichment device during an interactive visitor experience with Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae). It aimed to simultaneously encourage pro-conservation behaviour in visitors and promote animal welfare. Visitors (n = 51) completed a survey, observed the tigers’ behaviour and made a pledge to help tigers in the wild after completion of the AVI. Tiger behaviour was simultaneously observed by a trained researcher using occurrence or non-occurrence sampling, which found no indication that tiger welfare was compromised during the activity and was likely enhanced by engaging with the enrichment. Additionally, visitors observed a range of tigers’ behaviours. The results indicated that some visitors (8%) had continued with their pledge six weeks after the experience, and most visitors exhibited a high level of knowledge and a positive attitude towards tigers. The use of enrichment during AVIs may be a positive link between the visitor experience and animal welfare. These results can be used to guide AVIs in zoos which aim to connect people with nature and drive pro-conservation behaviour in visitors.

Neuroreport ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol Publish Ahead of Print ◽  
Mohammad Amin Khodadadegan ◽  
Sajad Sahab Negah ◽  
Mahsa Saheb ◽  
Jamileh Gholami ◽  
Masoud Hashemi Arabi ◽  

2021 ◽  
Sasha Tetzlaff ◽  
Jinelle Sperry ◽  
Bruce Kingsburg ◽  
Brett DeGregorio

Raising captive animals past critical mortality stages for eventual release (head-starting) is a common conservation tactic. Counterintuitively, post-release survival can be low. Post-release behavior affecting survival could be influenced by captive-rearing duration and housing conditions. Practitioners have adopted environmental enrichment to promote natural behaviors during head-starting such as raising animals in naturalistic enclosures. Using 32 captive-born turtles (Terrapene carolina), half of which were raised in enriched enclosures, we employed a factorial design to explore how enrichment and rearing duration affected post-release growth, behavior, and survival. Six turtles in each treatment (enriched or unenriched) were head-started for nine months (cohort one). Ten turtles in each treatment were head-started for 21 months (cohort two). At the conclusion of captive-rearing, turtles in cohort two were overall larger than cohort one, but unenriched turtles were generally larger than enriched turtles within each cohort. Once released, enriched turtles grew faster than unenriched turtles in cohort two, but we otherwise found minimal evidence suggesting enrichment affected post-release survival or behavior. Our findings suggest attaining larger body sizes from longer captive-rearing periods to enable greater movement and alleviate susceptibility to predation (the primary cause of death) could be more effective than environmental enrichment alone in chelonian head-starting programs where substantial predation could hinder success.

Lidia Bellés ◽  
Andrea Dimiziani ◽  
François R. Herrmann ◽  
Nathalie Ginovart

Abstract Rationale Risk factors for drug addiction include genetics, environment, and behavioral traits such as impulsivity and novelty preference (NP), which have been related to deficits in striatal dopamine (DA) D2/3-receptors (D2/3R) and heightened amphetamine (AMPH)-induced DA release. However, the influence of the early rearing environment on these behavioral and neurochemical variables is not clear. Objectives We investigated the influence of early rearing environment on striatal D2/3R availabilities and AMPH-induced DA release in relation to impulsivity, NP, and propensity to drug self-administration (SA) in “addiction-prone” Roman high- (RHA) and “addiction-resistant” Roman low-avoidance (RLA) rats. Methods Animals were reared post-weaning in either environmental enrichment (EE) or impoverishment (EI) and were assessed at adulthood for impulsivity, NP, and propensity to cocaine SA. EE and EI rats were also scanned using single-photon emission computed tomography to concurrently measure in vivo striatal D2/3R availability and AMPH-induced DA release. Results EE vs. EI was associated with heightened impulsivity and a lack of NP in both rat lines. Higher dorsal striatal D2/3R densities were found in RHA EE and higher AMPH-induced DA release in RLA EE. Both impulsivity and NP were negatively correlated to dorsal striatal D2/3R availabilities and positively correlated with AMPH-induced DA release in EI but not in EE. EE vs. EI was related to a faster rate of cocaine intake and elevated active timeout responses in RHAs. Conclusion Our results suggest non-monotonic, environment-dependent, relationships between impulsivity, NP, and D2/3R-mediated signaling, and suggest that EI vs. EE may decrease the reinforcing effects of psychostimulants in predisposed individuals.

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