Behavioral inhibition in rodents: A model to study causes and health consequences of temperament

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Behavioral inhibition (BI), a trait related to fearful temperament and withdrawal/avoidance of novelty, is an important predictor of adult health trajectories. However, specific mechanisms underlying this temperament-health relation are poorly understood. In order to model underlying physiological and developmental processes associated with behavioral inhibition to identify causal mechanisms for specific health trajectories, we developed a rodent model of early emerging behavioral inhibition. This behavioral trait of low exploration has been documented in many species and represents a relatively basic behavioral phenotype, which supports the goal of developing a non-human animal model. In this chapter, I review the behavioral and physiological characteristics of the rodent behavioral inhibition model, with an eye toward identifying biological mechanisms that may bias behaviorally inhibited individuals toward certain health trajectories. In addition, I review information on developmental correlates and influences on behavioral inhibition, with an eye toward identifying and testing interesting social and environmental interventions that could minimize health biases. I complete the chapter with a discussion of areas of future research with a rodent behavioral inhibition model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBehavioral Inhibition
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrating Theory, Research, and Clinical Perspectives
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783319980775
ISBN (Print)9783319980768
StatePublished - Oct 23 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine
  • General Social Sciences


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