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Psychology

University of Richmond

2009

Master's Theses

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Neural Replay : A Possible Mechanism For Differing Rehersal Strategies Across Parity, Cassie Brooke Jones Dec 2009

Neural Replay : A Possible Mechanism For Differing Rehersal Strategies Across Parity, Cassie Brooke Jones

Master's Theses

All mammalian females undergo behavioral and neurological changes during pregnancy and motherhood. Many of these changes lead to an enhanced ability to be an effective mother including: increased memory, foraging behaviors, and boldness. Here, we examined the differences in rehearsal strategies between mother and virgin rats. Stops made by rats when exploring their environment have been found to result in reverse replay activity in the hippocampus (Foster & Wilson, 2006). Reverse replay is sequential replay that occurs in the hippocampus immediately after a spatial experience; this replay/activation is in reversed order of the initial spatial episode (Foster & Wilson, 2006). Thus, rats are replaying the steps they have just taken. Here, animals were introduced into a linear track for 3 consecutive days. The number and duration of stops were recorded. We found that parous females made fewer stops compared to virgin females; however, they stopped for the same duration. Therefore, we propose that parous females may utilize reverse replay activation differently than ...


Looking Into The Mind Of The Mother : Pup Exposure And Reactivation Of Maternal Circuits, Tricia Lauren Norkunas Aug 2009

Looking Into The Mind Of The Mother : Pup Exposure And Reactivation Of Maternal Circuits, Tricia Lauren Norkunas

Master's Theses

The female rat, among other species, undergoes a fundamental brain re-modeling as a consequence of experiencing the normal and natural events of pregnancy and offspring stimulation. Compelling data show that maternal experiences produce neurobiological modifications in the female leading to specific maternal behaviors, affective states, and the basic underlying female neurobiology necessary to raise viable offspring. This study aims to evaluate the number, quality and selective activation of neurons that develop during the maternal experience. The study showed a trend toward supporting the hypothesis that a “maternal-circuit” is formed through the proliferation of neurons during late-motherhood and lactation, and is ...