The relevance of a rodent cohort in the consortium on individual development
Published: 08-26-2019 In Publication
One of the features of the Consortium on Individual Development is the existence of a rodent cohort, in parallel with the human cohorts. Here we give an overview of the current status. We first elaborate on the choice of rat and mouse models mimicking early life adverse or beneficial conditions during development. We performed a systematic literature search on early life adversity and adult social behavior to address the status quo. Next, we describe the behavioral tasks we used and designed to examine behavioral control and social competence in rodents. The results so far indicate that manipulation of the environment in the first postnatal week only subtly affects social behavior. Stronger effects were seen in the model that targeted early adolescence; once adult, these rats are characterized by increased attention, a higher degree of impulsiveness and reduced social interest in peers. Many experiments in our rodent models with tightly controlled conditions were inspired by findings in human cohorts, and now allow in-depth mechanistic investigations. Vice versa, some of the findings in rodents are currently followed up by dedicated investigations in the human cohorts. This exemplifies the added value of animal investigations in a consortium encompassing primarily human developmental cohorts.
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