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Effects of Handling and Social Isolation Upon the Rabbit's Behaviour

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image of Behaviour

Starting in infancy groups of Purdue Dutch-belted rabbits were either handled, handled and socially isolated, or not disturbed. When tested in adulthood, the two groups which had received handling experience were less timid, more active, and more exploratory than were untreated rabbits. The sexual behaviour of the handled female was enhanced relative to socially isolated and untreated females. Results are discussed in terms of emotionality and exploratory differences brought about by handling in early life.

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Psychology and Biological Sciences, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, USA


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