Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 71–74 | Cite as

The Effects of Prenatal Stress on Learning in Rats in a Morris Maze

  • A. A. Aleksandrov
  • O. N. Polyakova
  • A. S. Batuev


The offspring of female Wistar rats subjected to daily stress (they were placed in an unfamiliar social group for 1 h) during the last third of pregnancy were studied. The offspring of these females were tested for the ability to perform spatial orientation in a Morris water maze at the ages of two and four months. Prenatal stress had no effect on the ability of rats to learn in the Morris maze. However, two-month-old animals subjected to prenatal stress, unlike controls, demonstrated less flexibility in their behavioral strategy in solving the spatial orientation task. These animals were characterized by a clear tendency for their behavior to perseverate. By the age of four months, the differences between the control and prenatally stressed animals had disappeared.

prenatal stress social stress learning Morris water maze 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Aleksandrov
    • 1
  • O. N. Polyakova
    • 1
  • A. S. Batuev
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Higher Nervous Activity and PsychophysiologySt. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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