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The Effect of Environmental Enrichment on Pain Behavior: Possible Mechanisms

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dc.contributor.advisor Sternberg, Wendy
dc.contributor.author Buonora, Michele
dc.date.accessioned 2011-07-13T15:47:44Z
dc.date.available 2011-07-13T15:47:44Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/7123
dc.description.abstract Environmental enrichment—characterized by increased social interaction, exploratory behavior, and physical activity—has been shown to increase hippocampal neurogenesis as well as the physiological response to stress, both of which cause various behavioral changes in mice. The purpose of the current study was to determine the physiological correlate of a third behavioral change following enrichment: altered pain behavior. Male and female mice were housed in enriched or standard conditions and treated with saline, MAM (a neurogenesis blocker), or naloxone (an opioid receptor antagonist) to explore two possible mechanisms: increased neurogenesis, and chronically elevated levels of β-endorphins—endogenous opioids—as a result of HPA-axis stimulation. Results from our study suggest that, while environmental enrichment was unable to consistently alter pain behavior, sex-dependent chronic elevations of β-endorphins might decrease the sensitivity of enriched males to the analgesic effects of opioid administration.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Psychology
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
dc.subject.lcsh Pain -- Environmental aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Pain -- Psychological aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Pain -- Physiological aspects
dc.title The Effect of Environmental Enrichment on Pain Behavior: Possible Mechanisms
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Haverford users only


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