A Cerebral Asymmetry in Olfactory Control of Social Huddling by Infant Hamsters

  • Christiana M. Leonard
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 56)


Pups of the altricial species, Mesocricetus auratus, are born with little metabolic capacity for heat production (Hissa, 1968). Fortunately, they are endowed with a well developed mechanism for thermotaxis (Leonard, 1974). They orient and locomote toward the warm side of weak thermal gradients, becoming quiescent when their temperature starts to rise. This behavior presumably keeps them in the nest, close to their mother, an important source of heat. In an experimental situation (Leonard, 1982) young pups prefer contact with the warm end to huddling together with littermates. This is adaptive since their littermates are exothermic and do not provide an adequate source of heat.


Olfactory Bulb Ventral Striatum Olfactory Tubercle Brain Asymmetry Cerebral Asymmetry 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christiana M. Leonard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of Florida, College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA

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