Huddling and independent feeding of neonatal rats can be facilitated by a conditioned change in behavioral state.
Infant rat pups were exposed to a novel odor (orange or cedar) while they received tactile stimulation (stroking of the body) or were presented with odor or stroking alone. The effects of these treatments were assessed on pups' performance in a huddling test (Experiment 1 and 2) and an independent feeding test (Experiment 3). During these tests, only pups that had received the simultaneous presentation of the odor and stroking exhibited an increase in huddling and feeding. The increase in these behaviors was dependent on the presence of the conditioned odor during testing.
Sullivan, RM; Brake, SC; Hofer, MA; Williams, CL
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