Scoring

This semester, after being back to the lab from summer, I’d been working in the lab to finish up my unfinished project.  As a measure of learning seen in the alcohol induced adult rats in our lab, we used a process called “scoring”. It is a measure of immobility.  We watched the video tapes from over the summer; and using a stopwatch, recorded how long each rat in the testing box would remain immobile or ‘freeze’ during the exposure of light condition. Specifically, this scoring involved a time sampling procedure which included briefly looking at the animal behavior at a specific time during the test run. For our experiment, we observed the rats every 2 seconds (during that 10s period of light exposure) and so we had a total of five observations. The animals could be freezing or not during the light exposure. Rather than taking a measure of how long the animal froze, we recorded a percentage of freezing for our purpose. For instance, we recorded the freezing as ranging from 0-20-40-60- 80-100% (0seconds to 10seconds) at a time rather than saying it remained in freezing state  for six seconds. We made sure that the recordings we have were just during the light exposure interval, and not the other time.To make sure that the freezing data would be dependable, we recorded the rats behavior  also during a baseline period (as freezing or not) the same way we recorded it during the light interval, and compared them.

Compiling a data table/graph from these recordings, we found that the alcohol animals showed a lot more freezing behavior than the control group. This implies that these animals did not learn or remember about the light exposure. So, when presented with a flash of light, their reaction consisted of freezing behaviors every time they got exposed to light because they were not able to remember the light exposure from earlier trainings or even recent events of light exposure.