The passive avoidance behavior is based on negative reinforcement and examines long-term memory and emotional learning.
In this task, the animals learn to refrain from stepping through a door to an apparently safer but previously punished dark chamber. A light and a dark chamber are connected in an apparatus separated by a door.
Acquisition: The mouse is placed into the illuminated chamber of the apparatus upon entering the dark chamber, the door will close and an electrical stimulus is applied. Retention test: 24 hours after acquisition, the animal is placed back into the illuminated chamber. The time until the animal visits the dark chamber (latency) is measured and serves as an index of emotional memory. All parameters are measured using an automated tracking system.
Passive Avoidance Test in male Scopolamine-treated Sprague Dawley rats at the age of 10 weeks. Animals were treated once with 1 mg/kg Scopolamine. n = 14 per group. Mean + SEM. Mann-Whitney U-test; **p<0.001.