Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Melloni N. Cook

Committee Member

Guy Mittleman

Committee Member

Helen J. K. Sable

Committee Member

James G. Murphy


Anxiety disorders affect a significant proportion of the population and can be debilitating in some circumstances. The exact etiology of these disorders remains to be determined and animal models are an important part of that effort. The elevated zero maze, a behavioral measure of anxiety, was introduced as an alternative to the popular elevated plus maze. While the elevated zero maze has been pharmacologically validated in rats, the available data in mice is more limited. Similarly, the data available on anxiety-like behavior in adolescent mice lacks breadth despite considerable evidence suggesting that developmental processes during this period play a role in the etiology of anxiety disorders. In order to extend the available pharmacological data on the elevated zero maze and clarify age-related differences in anxiety-like behavior, three experiments using C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice were performed. Experiments 1 and 2 examined the effects of chlordiazepoxide and a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor on anxiety-like behavior in these strains. Experiment 3 examined age-related differences between these strains in anxiety-like behavior during periadolescence, adolescence, and late adolescence. Anxiety-like behavior was found to vary with strain, task, drug, and age. These data extend our knowledge of basline behavior in these strains and extend the foundation upon which to understand the etiology and treatment of anxiety disorders.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.