Learning Objectives. You will be able to describe and evaluate why animals are used in lab studies when researching into drugs . You will be able to describe and evaluate how animals are used to research drugs .
Nagaraja & Jeganathan (2003)
Examined the effects of acute and chronic
conditions of overcrowding
on free choice ethanol intake
Aim: To examine the effects of overcrowding on ethanol intake in rats
Method:A lab experiment with independent measures and two conditions
Subjects: Groups of male albino rats
Acute stressed - Overcrowded for 6 hours a day for a week
Chronic stressed - Overcrowded continuously for a week
Chronic stressed group showed
increase in ethanol intake and
ethanol preference over other
The brains of animals are not the same as humans: results may not be generalisable
Relatively small and easy to handle
Some animals have very short gestation periods and short reproductive cycles
Their genetic structure is not the same as humans: results may not be generalisable
Pro-speciesism suggests that we ought to do all we can to protect our own species
Animals in experiments are not in their natural surroundings, and therefore distressing conditions
Some animals (mice etc) have a similar brain structure to humans
Some animals (mice, rats etc) have a short lifespan (2 years)
Drugs have been developed that could otherwise not have been developed.
Some diseases (Parkinson's) have to be replicated in animals using drugs, and so may not be the same as the disease itself. Therefore, studies might lack validity
Human lives are complex and factors rarely occur in isolation
Some procedures have to be carried out daily
Animals should be treated ethically . They are not sufficiently different from humans to be treated as objects
The knowledge obtained may also improve the lives of the species being tested on.
Some procedures require strict control over the environment
Using animals may not be credible
Some procedures require accessing specific parts of the brain that might then be damaged.
Procedures can be carried out on humans that can not be done on animals. E.g. ablation and leisoning
Many animals feel pain