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Observing birth and placentophagia affects placentophagia but not maternal behavior of virgin rats

Kristal, Dr. Mark B. and Nishita, J. Ken (1981) Observing birth and placentophagia affects placentophagia but not maternal behavior of virgin rats. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Abstract

To determine whether observing components of periparturitional behavior affects the manifestation of those behaviors in virgin rats, virgins selected for nonplacentophagia and for the absence of spontaneous maternal behavior toward pups were exposed to stimulus rats that were giving birth, eating placenta, or eating lab chow. During observations, subjects could either eat donor placenta or just see and smell it. The subjects were tested subsequently for placentophagia and for the rate of onset of pup-induced maternal behavior. The results indicated that: (1) access to placenta in the presence of other rats led to placentophagia; (2) when such placentophagia occurred in conjunction with exposure to other rats that were giving birth or eating donor placenta, the subjects became permanent placentophages (otherwise, the subjects reverted and did not eat on subsequent placentophagia tests); (3) none of the observation conditions, regardless of the availability of placenta during observation, affected the maternal sensitization latency. The results are discussed in terms of social facilitation, exposure learning, and desensitization to exteroceptive stimuli.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:placentophagia, maternal behavior, rat, observational learning, placenta, exposure learning, social facilitation
Subjects:Neuroscience > Behavioral Neuroscience
Biology > Animal Behavior
ID Code:5767
Deposited By:Kristal, Mark B.
Deposited On:22 Oct 2007 11:45
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

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