ISSN 2051-8315
Psychopathology Review
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 Volume 3, Issue 1, 41-63, 2015
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Improving the translational validity of methods used to study depression in animals

  Emma Robinson -

Volume 3, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 41-63


Understanding the basic biology of brain disorders, evaluating novel drug targets, and developing new treatments all largely depend on the use of animals.  In psychiatry, the reliability of methods used in animals to study diseases such as depression has been called into question and limitations associated with the current methodologies are often blamed for a lack of progress in the field.  In order to move forward, new methods to study depression-related neurobiology and antidepressant drug efficacy are required and these approaches need to demonstrate translational validity.  This review will focus on new approaches which may offer improved methods to quantify depression-related behaviours in non-human species.  In particular, recent developments in the study emotional and non-emotional cognitive impairments in depression, and models of cognitive affective biases in depression will be discussed.  

Table of Contents
Can we model complex psychiatric diseases in animals?
Current animal models of depression and their limitations
Cognitive impairments in depression
Ambiguous cue interpretation or judgement bias tasks
Affective bias test
Studies in other rodents behavioural tasks relating to non-emotional cognitive domains
 Attentional set-shifting task:
 Working memory:
 Recognition memory:
 Spatial learning and memory:

Correspondence to
Dr Emma Robinson

Animal model, Psychiatry, Depression, Antidepressant, Cognitive neuroscience, Cognitive affective biases, Behavioural despair, Anhedonia, Stress

Received 3 Nov 2013; Revised 29 Apr 2014; Accepted 29 Apr 2014; In Press 21 Feb 2016

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