Animal Research Psychology

Decent Essays
However, invasive methods and stress causing techniques are still used in animal research today as evident in a study by Meaney et al. (2011) which involved both socially raising rats and isolating others. Further, the investigation involved the killing of the rats in order to obtain brain tissue for the study of differences in the development of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) systems in various parts of the brain. The study found the GR was enhanced due to prolonged single stress exposure in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. Early handling of the rats protected them against ongoing stress-induced of GR expression of the prefrontal cortex, but not in the hippocampus. The study highlights the importance that the early life upbringing…show more content…
In the past, animals were used to study the anatomy of the brain and cognition. Although many arguments were raised around ethics and the treatment of animals in laboratory settings, these studies still yielded positive outcomes and advancements in treatment of psychological and neurological treatments such as depression, anxiety, Parkinson disease, strokes and schizophrenia. The implementation of the 3Rs aimed at addressing many ethical, societal and legal issues, although its impact is still ambiguous, it is clear that a reduction in animal pain and suffering has been minimised in research. Contemporary models show quite some progression, allowing the use of biological markers thus reducing the reliance on invasive techniques. In response to the 3Rs, strides have also been made towards the discovery of in-vitro models of brain structure and function thus reducing the reliance on animal models. Future research suggests further reduction of reliance on animals to study brain physiology, with technologies such as neuroprosthetic devices promising to substitute animals. Imaging techniques such as nanoscopy and further development of biological markers suggest further reduction of invasive techniques and ability to study active brain activity. Substitutes such as in-vitro models of the brain and the use of biological makers will definitely lead to better results in the use of animals in brain research. It is evident that some of the most significant advances in neurological and psychological disorders have occurred with the use of animals in research. Combined with the development of new design approaches, the use of animals in brain research is vital in future studies to gain an understanding of the human brain in an attempt to potentially develop and treat disorders of the human
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