Exposing Undergraduates To Animal Research in Psychology

Abstract: To expose students to the details of research involving animals for modeling and understanding psychological disorders, the course began by investigating published original research and concluded with an original experiment. Specifically, during the first 8 weeks of the semester students read and discussed pivotal papers covering important considerations of animal model research before conducting a pre-designed experiment and finally an original experiment. The original experiment exposed common goldfish to differing levels of alcohol (0, 0.04, 1%) and recorded their latency to feed and overall movement patterns, as measured by the number of sections entered in the test tank. Results illustrate that with increases in alcohol concentration latency to feed decreased while the number of sections entered increased. Details of the course and experimental set up are discussed as well as the potential for implementation in similar environments. Keywords: psychological disorders, animal models, alcohol, goldfish, course design