Stress and spatial maze performance in the rat

Sara B. Taylor, Cheryl Conrad, Michael Olive

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Stress is frequently used to describe an undesirable psychological or physical state, and often evokes thoughts of frustration, worry, or anxiety. Despite its predominantly negative connotation, stress is necessary for an organism to successfully adapt to the environment. One of the major challenges for an organism is to find a balance between brief and adaptive stress while avoiding prolonged or excessive stress, which can be detrimental to both physiological and cognitive function. This chapter provides a historical perspective and broad overview of the stress response and describes the numerous types of stressors and paradigms used in animal research, with a focus on the effects of these stressors on spatial maze learning and memory. In addition, practical details on how to deal with the nuances of stressors and stress responses in behavioral testing are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Maze Book
Subtitle of host publicationTheories, Practice, and Protocols for Testing Rodent Cognition
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages48
ISBN (Electronic)9781493921591
ISBN (Print)9781493921584
StatePublished - Mar 10 2015


  • Behavior
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
  • Learning
  • Maze
  • Memory
  • Rodent
  • Spatial
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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