Some Mechanisms Governing the Induction, Maintenance, and Synchrony of Maternal Behavior in the Laboratory Rat

  • Howard Moltz
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 11)


As long ago as 1925, Stone advanced the hypothesis that the endocrine changes accompanying the termination of pregnancy underlie the onset of maternal behavior in the rat. In a sense, this is an obvious assumption because such maternal activities as nursing, nest building, and retrieving are initiated in close temporal association with the birth process. However, more than 40 years elapsed before Stone’s hypothesis was actually demonstrated and before some of the endocrine agents responsible for the induction of maternal behavior were finally identified. Specifically, these agents include progesterone, estrogen, and prolactin.


Maternal Behavior Ergot Alkaloid Nest Building Medial Preoptic Area Nulliparous Female 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard Moltz
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of ChicagoUSA

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