Rodents as 'models' of human neuroses and psychoses

Paul F. Brain
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales Swansea, Swansea, SA28PP, UK.

In spite of their 'distance' from humans, rodents have featured prominently in attempts to understand the biological underpinning of human neuroses and psychoses and (particularly) in attempts to develop an armamentarium of drug treatments to counter such conditions.
This development creates a variety of problems. Many individuals are concerned about the extent to which especially human emotional changes can be genuinely 'modelled' in animals such as rats and mice (if they are good, it is sometimes argued that they are too extreme to be employed). Indeed, many attacks on the appropriateness of using animals in research, focus upon essentially psychopharmacological investigations including those concerned with mental disease. It consequently, seems worthwhile re-examining the strands of the debates concerning the ethics of using such tests and how one assesses the validity of animal models of a human neuroses or psychoses. Anxiety, Hostility and Depression will be the focus of this account.
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