Cognitive Bias Under Adverse and Rewarding Conditions: A Systematic Review of Rodent Studies
SourceFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 14, (2020), article 14
Article / Letter to editor
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Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
SubjectRadboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Background: Cognitive bias refers to emotional influences on cognition and provides a cognitive measure of negativity- or positivity-bias through assessment of the behavioral responses to ambiguous stimuli. Thus, under negative conditions an animal is more likely to judge ambiguous stimuli as negative, and under positive conditions as positive. The transfer of past experiences to novel but similar situations is highly adaptive, as it allows the animal to anticipate on the most likely outcome of the ambiguous cues. Methods: We conducted a systematic review to summarize the current state of evidence on cognitive bias in rodents under adverse and rewarding or supportive conditions. Results: In total 20 studies were identified, in which auditory, spatial, tactile, or visual tasks were used. Stressed rodents generally made fewer positive responses than their non-stressed conspecifics. Housing enrichment made rodents more positive in anticipation of ambiguous cues. Ethanol seeking rats generalized the ambiguous cues to sucrose and less to ethanol if sucrose was available. Amphetamine, fluoxetine, and ketamine shifted the bias toward positivity, while reboxetine elevated negative bias. Conclusion: The auditory tasks have been most extensively validated, followed by the tactile and spatial tasks, and finally the visual tasks. The tactile and spatial tasks use latency as readout, which is sensitive to confounding factors. It is yet uncertain whether spatial tasks measure cognitive bias. Across all tasks, with some exceptions, rodents exposed to stress show less positivity-bias when exposed to ambiguous cues, whereas rodents exposed to rewarding substances or treated with antidepressant drugs are biased toward reward. Considering the methodological heterogeneity and risk of bias, the present data should be interpreted with caution.
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