The paper deals with the most important items regarding the improvement of quality of experimental procedures when testing drug effects on behaviour and development of commonly-used rodent species. Current-used test procedures for immature and adult rodents exposed early developmentally are briefly described and recent advances and difficulties in their hands-on interpretation are highlighted. Comparability of measures in human and animals for drug-effect assess-ment is also shortly discussed. It is then stressed that studies on rodents carried out in seminaturalistic and naturalistic settings may offer a highly profitable direction for future research in behavioural teratology and toxicology. A final paragraph is dedicated to the bioethical aspects arisen from the use of large number of rodents subjects in behavioural testing.
Keywords: Behaviovioural Treratology, rodents, fostering procedure, un fostering, in fostering, cross fostering, standard fostering, Crouching behaviour, straight jackets, statistical analysis, ANOVAs, pup reactivity, developmental studies, Drug challenge, psychoactive drugs, ultrasonic vocalisations, neonates, mental behaviour, locomotor, adult behaviour, rearing, avoidance task, sniffing, neophobia level, hot plate testing, naturalsitic