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Habituation To Auditory Stimuli in Mice

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Mice subjected to auditory stimuli (clicks containing ultrasonic components, tones, or combinations of the two) once every 30 seconds showed a variety of responses. The initial orienting response and static exploration waned in about 5 minutes. There was also a longer-lasting increase in exploratory behaviour, elicited by the clicks and/or the tones, which waned after 3 hours. Finally jerks and other movements elicited primarily during sleep by the click components (though they could also be elicited from waking animals with a more intense stimulus) laster for 49 hours or more. Thus the various types of response elicited by auditory stimuli wane at different rates: the variation in habituation rate appears not to be merely a consequence of stimulus intensity.

Affiliations: 1: Sub-Dept. Animal Behaviour, Madingley, Cambridge, England

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