Cognitive bias is a phenomenon that presents in clinical populations where anxious individuals tend to adopt a more pessimistic-like interpretation of ambiguous aversive stimuli whereas depressed individuals tend to adopt a less optimistic-like interpretation of ambiguous appetitive stimuli. To further validate the chick anxiety-depression model as a neuropsychiatric simulation we sought to quantify this cognitive endophenotype. Chicks exposed to an isolation stressor of 5 m to induce an anxiety-like or 60 m to induce a depressive-like state were then tested in a straight alley maze to a series of morphed ambiguous appetitive (chick silhouette) to aversive (owl silhouette) cues. In non-isolated controls, runway start and goal latencies generally increased as a function of greater amounts of aversive characteristics in the cues. In chicks in the anxiety-like state, runway latencies were increased to aversive ambiguous cues, reflecting more pessimistic-like behavior. In chicks in the depression-like state, runway latencies were increased to both aversive and appetitive ambiguous cues, reflecting more pessimistic-like and less optimistic-like behavior, respectively. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Cognitive bias
- Straight-alley maze