Psychonomic Science

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 145–146 | Cite as

The effects of chronic maternal absorption of nicotine or hypoxic episodes upon the life span of the offspring

  • Joan C. Martin
  • R. F. Becker
Physiological Psychology & Animal Behavior Physiological Effects


The offspring of rats subjected to either chronic hypoxic episodes (H) or injections of 3.0 mg/kg of nicotine twice daily throughout pregnancy (N) or injected throughout pregnancy and the nursing period (N-N) had significantly shorter life spans than did control offspring (S) of dams injected with a similar amount of isotonic saline twice daily. H animals died earliest, followed by N-N, N, and S rats. These results paralleled those found in our previous studies which involved the use of reinforcement schedules, discrimination problems, and performance in activity wheels. In the latter case, group performance levels increased in the order of H, N-N, N, and S. Tentative explanatory hypotheses for these differences among offspring groups include undernutrition in utero and maternal neglect following birth.


Nicotine Reinforcement Schedule Discrimination Problem Activity Wheel Hypoxic Episode 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan C. Martin
    • 1
  • R. F. Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke University Medical SchoolDurhamUSA

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