Sharing of the home base: A social test in rats

M. Mintz, H. Russig, L. Lacroix, Joram Feldon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The open field provides abundant opportunities for a pair of rats to express social interactions. Rats demonstrate social proximity while exploring the open field and also during simultaneous occupancy of a home base (HB). The HB is defined as a place in the field for which rats show a long-term preference, both in terms of occupancy and as a starting and ending point of exploratory excursions. In the present study, the social proximity of pairs of rats treated with phencyclidine (PCP; 2mg/kg) or saline (Sal), and rats treated with clozapine (CLZ; 1.3 mg/kg) alone or in combination with PCP (CLZ-PCP), was videotaped and analysed algorithmically. PCP was tested for its disruptive effects on social interactions, and CLZ was tested for its ability to reverse some forms of the disruptive effects of PCP. The results showed that PCP reduced the rate of pairs establishing a common HB and shortened social HB occupancy, but had no effect on episodes of social exploration in the field. These findings demonstrate that the antisocial effect of PCP cannot be generalized across the entire spectrum of behavioural states in the open field. CLZ further decreased rather than increased social HB occupancy. This effect was derived from the reduction in rate of pairs establishing a common HB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Algorithmic analysis
  • Clozapine
  • Exploration
  • Home base
  • Open field
  • PCP
  • Rat
  • Social interactions


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