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Repeated maternal separation of preweanling rats attenuates behavioral responses to primary and conditioned incentives in adulthood

Matthews, Keith, Wilkinson, Lawrence Stephen and Robbins, Trevor W. 1996. Repeated maternal separation of preweanling rats attenuates behavioral responses to primary and conditioned incentives in adulthood. Physiology & Behavior 59 (1) , pp. 99-107. 10.1016/0031-9384(95)02069-1

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Abstract

Early social experience has profound effects on a wide spectrum of behaviors and neurochemical correlates in the rat. Repeated separation of rat pups from their dam during the early neonatal period causes acute perturbation of neuroendocrine and physiological status. The chronic sequelae of repeated separations have not been studied as extensively as the acute responses. Altered social experience at a later developmental stage, postweaning isolation rearing, is known to induce enduring changes in the behavioral responses to reward and reward-related stimuli in maturity. We have evaluated the influence of repeated early maternal separation on the responses to both primary and conditioned incentives in mature rats. Separated animals showed enhanced weight gain, a blunted locomotor response to a novel environment and a blunting of the response to both negative and positive contrast effects. Female separated animals, but not males, exhibited a profound attenuation of the acquisition of a conditioned anticipatory locomotor response to the presentation of food. These data are discussed with respect to the putative involvement of ventral striatal dopamine systems in reward mechanisms and the potential utility of early maternal separation as an animal model of depression.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Medicine
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0031-9384
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:48
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/85404

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