UNIT 8.3 Animal Tests of Anxiety

  1. Sandra E. File1,
  2. Arnold S. Lippa2,
  3. Bernard Beer2,
  4. Morgen T. Lippa (thirsty rat conflict)2

Published Online: 1 MAY 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0803s26

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

File, S. E., Lippa, A. S., Beer, B. and Lippa, M. T. 2004. Animal Tests of Anxiety. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 26:8.3:8.3.1–8.3.22.

Author Information

  1. 1

    King's College London, London, United Kingdom

  2. 2

    DOV Pharmaceutical, Inc., Hackensack, New Jersey

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2004
  2. Published Print: JAN 2004


Animal tests of anxiety are used to screen novel compounds for anxiolytic or anxiogenic activity, to investigate the neurobiology of anxiety, and to assess the impact of other occurrences such as exposure to predator odors or early rearing experiences. This unit presents protocols for the most commonly used animal tests of anxiety. The Geller-Seifter conflict test, the social interaction test, light/dark exploration, the elevated plus-maze, defensive burying, and the thirsty rat conflict. The protocols are described in terms of drug screening tests, but can be modified easily for other purposes.