The Development of Behavior in Normal and Brain-Damaged Infant Rats, Studied with Homing (Nest-Seeking) as Motivation

  • Joseph Altman
  • Robert L. Brunner
  • Fatma G. Bulut
  • Kiran Sudarshan
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 8)


The behavioral, especially learning, capabilities of normal and treated preweaning rats has received only limited experimental attention due mainly to the shortage of testing procedures that can be profitably administered to them. In addition to their limited sensory and motor capacities, serious difficulties arise when motivational conditions appropriate for adults are applied to nursling rats. What is needed in this field of investigation is reward and punishment situations which are relevant to the needs of infants. In altricial species an obvious such situation is the disturbance of filial-maternal interrelationship. A drastic example of this is the removal of the infant from the nest or home cage where it is provided by the mother with food, shelter and the various other necessities of survival. Perhaps another, related situation is the removal of a pup from its siblings who contribute to the comforts that the growing infant needs and seeks.


Home Cage Developmental Aspect Reversal Training Tactile Discrimination Passive Avoidance Learning 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Altman
    • 1
  • Robert L. Brunner
    • 1
  • Fatma G. Bulut
    • 1
  • Kiran Sudarshan
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, Department of Biological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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