Toward animal models of post-traumatic stress disorder

Hagit Cohen, Gal Richter-Levin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The development of animal models for PTSD and other traumatic stress related brain changes is an important part of advancing our neurobiological understanding of the disease process as well as recovery, resilience, and possible therapeutic targets. Although animal models for PTSD are limited to the assessment of measurable and observable behavioral parameters and cannot assess complex psychological symptoms such as intrusive thoughts, meaning and dreams, valid and reliable animal models offer a means for researching biomolecular, pathophysiological, and pharmacological features of the disorder in ways that are not feasible in human studies. Trauma/stress-based Models were developed in an attempt to induce in the animal a state similar to PTSD by exposing animals to an equivalent of a traumatic experience. Mechanism-based models were developed considering potential brain mechanisms that may underlay the disorder. The most studied are enhanced fear conditioning, impaired extinction and more recently, impaired contextualization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPost-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Subtitle of host publicationBasic Science and Clinical Practice
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781603273282
StatePublished - 2009


  • Amygdala
  • HPA axis
  • animal models
  • corticotrophin-releasing hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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