Behavioral Assays in Environmental Toxicology

  • Bernard Weiss


Behavioral toxicology treats the whole organism as an assay system. Certain features of such an approach are exceedingly resistant to simplification, and it is doubtful that we will ever have the luxury of something approaching in vitro testing in convenience and clarity. Three aspects of behavioral assessment are especially difficult to simplify in reasonable ways. Psychophysics is the discipline that allows us to determine sensory capacity. With animals, complex, lengthy procedures are often the only alternative by which to assess subtle questions of sensory dysfunction. Measures of aversiveness and attractiveness are also definable only by behavioral techniques, yet constitute critical data for environmental standards. Behavioral epidemiology is the most obvious enemy of simplification since it deals with how people feel and function.


Elimination Diet Heat Lamp Microwave Exposure Peroxyacetyl Nitrate Butyl Nitrite 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Weiss
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiation BiologyUniversity of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Biophysics and Environmental Health Sciences CenterUniversity of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA

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