Behavioral correlates of vitamin D deficiency

Katharine L. Altemus, Stanley Finger, Cynthia Wolf, Stanley J. Birge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Rats deprived of vitamin D at weaning were compared to control rats on open field, stabilimeter, radial arm maze and spatial reversal tasks in order to test the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency alters behavior and learning. The deficient animals engaged in statistically less open field rearing activity and spent more time each day negotiating the radial maze than did the control rats. These findings are consistent with the known influence of vitamin D on the musculoskeletal system. The deprived rats did not differ from the control animals on the learning measures. This would indicate that vitamin D deficiency may not significantly impair cognitive functions in young adult rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-440
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987


  • Emotionality
  • Learning
  • Locomotor activity
  • Malnutrition
  • Nutrition
  • Open field
  • Radial arm maze
  • Spatial reversal
  • Stabilimeter
  • Vitamin D


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