Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Long-Term conditioned fear modification in the dog as measured by changes in urinary 11-hydroxycorticosteroids. Heart rate and behavior

  • 20 Accesses


Heart rate (HR), operant key pressing, and urinary 11-hydroxycorticosteroids (11-OH-CS) were recorded while dogs were subjected to various aversive conditioning schedules over a six-month period. The schedules consisted of Sidman avoidance, followed by a Sidman schedule which paired unavoidable shocks (US) with offset of seven discrete conditioned stimuli (CS). Introduction of the Sidman avoidance schedule led to an increase in HR. Changes in the experimental schedule always results in an increase in urinary 11-OH-CS. Neither HR nor urinary 11-OH-CS were correlated with rate of operant key pressing. Differences in the dependent variables reflected the different topological characteristics of the dogs studied. This study demonstrated: (a) a causal independence of physiological and behavioral responses conditioned to the same stimulus complex, and (b) that longterm increases in HR can be maintained if the experimental situation is manipulated to maintain the fear eliciting characteristics of the conditioning situation.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Anderson, D. E., and Brady, J. V.: Differential preparatory cardiovascular responses to aversive and appetitive behavioral conditioning.Cond. Reflex,7:82, 1972.

  2. Anderson, D. E., and Brady, J. V.: Prolonged pre-avoidance effects upon blood pressure and heart rate in the dog.Psychosom. Med.,35:4, 1973.

  3. Annau, Z., and Kamin, L. J.: The conditioned emotional response as a function of intensity of the US.J. Comp. physiol. Psychol.,54:428, 1961.

  4. Black, A. H.: Heart rate changes during avoidance learning in dogs.Canadian J. Psychol.,13:229, 1952.

  5. Brady, J. V., Kelly, D., and Plumlee, L.: Autonomic and behavorial responses of the monkey during emotional conditioning.Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.,159: 959, 1969.

  6. Dykman, R. A., and Gantt, W. H.: Experimental psychogenic hypertension: blood pressure changes conditioned to painful stimuli (Schizokinesis).Bull. Johns Hopkins Hosp.,107:72, 1960.

  7. Findley, J. D., Brady, J. V., Robinson, W. W., and Gilliam, W. J.: Continuous cardiovascular monitoring in the baboon during long-term behavioral performances.Communication Behav. Biol.,6:49, 1971.

  8. Forsyth, R. P.: Blood pressure and avoidance conditioning.Psychosom. Med.,30:125, 1968.

  9. Forsyth, R. P.: Blood pressure responses to long term avoidance schedules in the restrained rhesus monkey.Psychosom. Med.,31:300, 1969.

  10. Ganong, W. F.: The central nervous system and the synthesis and release of adrenocorticatropic hormone.In A. V. Nalbandov (ed.)Advances in Neuroendocrinology. Urbana: Illinois Univ. Press, 1963; pp. 92–149.

  11. Gantt, W. H., and Hoffman, W. C.: Conditioned cardio-respiratory changes accompanying conditioned food reflexes.Am. J. Physiol.,129:360, 1940.

  12. Lynch, J. J.: The cardiac orienting response and its relationship to the cardiac conditional response in dogs.Cond. Reflex,2:138, 1967.

  13. Mason, J. W., Brady, J. V., and Sidman, M.: Plasma 17-hydroxycorticosteroid levels and conditioned behavior in the rhesus monkey.Endocrinology,60:741, 1957.

  14. Mason, J. W., Brady, J. V., and Tolliyer, G. A.: Plasma and urinary 17-hydroxycorticosteroid responses to 72-hr, avoidance sessions in the monkey.Psychosomatic Med.,30:608, 1968.

  15. Matlingly, D. A., Dennis, P. M., Pearson, J., and Cope, C.: Rapid screening test for adrenal cortical function.The Lancet,43:1046, 1964.

  16. Obrist, P. A., Webb, R. A., Sutterer, J. R., and Howard, J. L.: The cardiacsomatic relationship: some re-formulations.Psychophysiology,6:569, 1970.

  17. Ramsay, D. A.: Form and characteristics of the cardiovascular conditional response in rhesus monkeys.Cond. Reflex,5:36, 1970.

  18. Scharrer, E., and Scharrer, B.:Neuroendocrinology. Columbia University Press, New York, 1963.

  19. Sidman, M., Mason, J. W., Brady, J. V., and Thach, J.: Quantitative relations between avoidance behavior and pituitary-adrenal cortical activity.J. exp. Behav.,5:353, 1962.

  20. Siegel, S.Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1956; pp. 116–127.

  21. Smith, O. A., Jr., and Stebbins, W. C.: Conditioned blood flow and heart rate in monkeys.J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol.,59:432, 1965.

  22. Snapper, A. G., Schoenfeld, W. N., Ferraro, D. P., and Locke, B.: Cardiac rate of the rat under a DRL and a non-contingent schedule of reinforcement.Psych. Rep.,17:543, 1965.

  23. Sutterer, J. R., and Obrist, P. A.: Heart rate and general activity alterations of dogs during several aversive conditioning procedures.J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol,80:314, 1972.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Vincent P. Houser.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Houser, V.P., Pabé, W.P. Long-Term conditioned fear modification in the dog as measured by changes in urinary 11-hydroxycorticosteroids. Heart rate and behavior. Pav. J. Biol. Sci. 9, 85–96 (1974).

Download citation


  • Conditional Stimulus
  • Avoidance Conditioning
  • Work Period
  • Avoidance Schedule
  • Sidman Avoidance