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Neurosci Lett. 1993 Aug 6;158(1):13-5.

The role of the striatum in organizing sequences of play fighting in neonatally dopamine-depleted rats.

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Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge, Canada.


Juvenile rats sustaining dopamine depletions by intraventricular injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) as neonates were used to study the role of the striatum in controlling play fighting. As juveniles, the rats exhibited all the behavior elements typical of play fighting. However, they were more likely to use defensive tactics that shortened the playful contact between partners; and when contacting the partner, they were more likely to switch to other behaviors, such as allogrooming and sexual mounting, rather than continue with the play sequence. It is suggested here that the striatum is important for maintaining sequential organization of play fighting.

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