The Ontogeny of Motivation

Hedonic Preferences and Their Biological Basis in Developing Rats
  • Aron Weller
Part of the Handbook of Behavioral Neurobiology book series (HBNE, volume 13)


This chapter examines the ontogeny of motivated behavior, particularly the origins of early attractions. It focuses on the biological foundations of preferences in an animal model, the laboratory rat. A developmental approach is utilized to examine the appearance over ontogeny of different behavioral tendencies and how they change. This approach can reveal components of motivation as they appear (at different ontogenetic times) and allow the examination of the physiological substrate (hormonal, neural, etc.) of these developing components separately. This approach can also specify how experience contributes to motivational change by building on states that are, by definition, rewarding to newborns. These states, concerned with energy conservation and with stimulation of the central nervous system (CNS) for brain growth and development, will be discussed and the position advanced here of intrinsically rewarding systems will be supported.


Conditioned Stimulus Amniotic Fluid Behavioral Neuroscience Developmental Psychobiology Taste Reactivity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aron Weller
    • 1
  1. 1.Developmental Psychobiology Laboratory, Department of PsychologyBar Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

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