Stress is frequently used to describe an undesirable psychological or physical state, and often evokes thoughts of frustration, worry, or anxiety. Despite its predominantly negative connotation, stress is necessary for an organism to successfully adapt to the environment. One of the major challenges for an organism is to find a balance between brief and adaptive stress while avoiding prolonged or excessive stress, which can be detrimental to both physiological and cognitive function. This chapter provides a historical perspective and broad overview of the stress response and describes the numerous types of stressors and paradigms used in animal research, with a focus on the effects of these stressors on spatial maze learning and memory. In addition, practical details on how to deal with the nuances of stressors and stress responses in behavioral testing are discussed.
- Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
- Psychiatry and Mental health