Hirsjärvi, P. A., Väliaho, T. 1995. Gentled and nonhandled Wistar rats in a mildly novel open-field situation. Scandinavian Journal of Laboratory Animal Science 22(3), 265-269.
Open-field behaviour of individually gentled and nonhandled adult male Wistar rats was studied in a mildly novel test situation. The gentled rats were more active and showed fewer signs of fear on the first trial. This difference gradually descended on later trials. There was no difference in the general habituation pattern of the two groups. Although the importance of gentling may be greater in more novel situations it is not insignificant even in situations where the degree of novelty is mild.