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Psychology

University of Richmond

Parental behavior in animals

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From Mind To Machine : Parity Affects In The Attentional Set-Shifting Task In Animal And Machine Models, Katie Coren Freeman Jan 2013

From Mind To Machine : Parity Affects In The Attentional Set-Shifting Task In Animal And Machine Models, Katie Coren Freeman

Honors Theses

As a dual behavioral and computational neuroscience research project, this study first tested reproductive effects on attention, learning, and decision making using the Attentional Set-Shifting Task (AS-ST) and then a Machine Learning model was constructed to simulate perceptual judgments and decision making through reinforced learning. In the behavioral task, response times and errors from 5 primiparous (one-time mothers) and 4 nulliparous (never pregnant) Sprague-Dawley rats were recorded during four increasingly complex attention modulation and paired associative learning tasks. The Machine Learning model reconstructed each task's decision problems through representation of internal and external conditions, valuation, action, and outcome evaluation ...


The Discriminating Mother : Own V. Alien And Male V. Female, Eric Mcdaniel Jan 2012

The Discriminating Mother : Own V. Alien And Male V. Female, Eric Mcdaniel

Honors Theses

The Discriminating Mother: Own v. Alien and Male v. Female It is o en stated that one of the greatest bonds that exists is between mother and child. Previous research has shown that mothers experience modi cations in their brain chemistry and structure due to the e ects of pregnancy, parturition, and motherhood in animal models (Lambert & Kinsley, 2012). If an individual cannot have children of her own she may chose to adopt a child to l ll that niche and rge a similar bond. One may ask, however, whether this bond between mother and child is equivalent in strength ...


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 ...


Attentive Mothers Versus Minimally Invested/Neglectful Mothers : The Development Of New Neurons In The Hippocampus Specifically Activated By Foster Pup Exposure, Danielle Christina Worthington Stoneman Aug 2008

Attentive Mothers Versus Minimally Invested/Neglectful Mothers : The Development Of New Neurons In The Hippocampus Specifically Activated By Foster Pup Exposure, Danielle Christina Worthington Stoneman

Master's Theses

As pregnancy progresses, the female is transformed from an animal that actively avoids pup-related cues (Kinsley, 1994) to one highly motivated to build nests, and retrieve, group, groom, and crouch over a set of pups. In the vast majority of events, motherhood progresses normally; in a striking subset, however, it does not. This study seeks to evaluate neurological differences in the dentate gyrus between primiparous females that respond maternally and those that do not when exposed to foster pups. It was hypothesized that the attentive mothers which perform the expected maternal behaviors have a different number of triple labeled BrdU ...


Motherhood, Memory And Aging : Object Recognition Performance, Julia Margaret Friedenberg Aug 2007

Motherhood, Memory And Aging : Object Recognition Performance, Julia Margaret Friedenberg

Master's Theses

Reproductively experienced female rats have been shown to have attenuated stress responses, improved visual systems, and better memory and learning. This study sought to extend those findings by comparing aged reproductively experienced and aged virgin female rats on an object recognition task, as well as comparing levels of corticosterone and 17p-estradiol and neural activation. Multiparous (MP, 2 reproductive experiences) females performed better on the task and demonstrated quicker habituation to the task than nulliparous (NP, no reproductive experiences) females. No hormonal or neural activation differences were found. The present study contributes to the growing research areas of reproductive experience and ...


Central Opioid Regulation Of Parental Behavior In Juvenile Rats, Jacquelyn C. Wellman Aug 1996

Central Opioid Regulation Of Parental Behavior In Juvenile Rats, Jacquelyn C. Wellman

Master's Theses

Morphine disrupts full parental behavior (FPB) in adult rats when administered into the preoptic area; effects are reversed with naloxone. The current study emphasizes central administration of morphine into the preoptic area and effects on parental behavior in juveniles and possible naloxone blockade. In Experiment 1, juveniles outfitted with cannulae assemblies aimed at the preoptic region were administered a regimen of morphine, naloxone, or saline, and 30 minutes later were exposed to neonates. Behavior was scored for 1 hour and animals were considered parental if they responded with FPB for 2 consecutive days. Saline and naloxone groups responded to the ...


Morphine Disruption Of Maternal Behavior And Modifications Of Underlying Neural Activity, Graciela Stafisso-Sandoz May 1996

Morphine Disruption Of Maternal Behavior And Modifications Of Underlying Neural Activity, Graciela Stafisso-Sandoz

Master's Theses

Morphine significantly impairs maternal behavior; N aloxone, an opiate antagonist, restores it. Maternal behavior is associated with c-fos expression, an immediate early gene product, in medial preoptic area (mPOA) of females. In this series of experiments, the effects of morphine and Naloxone on the expression of c-fos were examined. On postpartum day 5 or 6, females were injected with morphine or saline ( Exp. 1 ), or morphine+Naloxone or morphine+saline (Exp. 2) and placed back in the homepage, separated from their pups by a wire-mesh partition. Sixty minutes later processing for cfos immunohistochemistry commenced. The c-fos positive cells in a ...