Maternal experience produces long-lasting behavioral modifications in the rat

Gennifer Love, Nicole Torrey, Ilan McNamara, Melissa Morgan, Margaret Banks, Naomi W. Hester, Erica R. Glasper, A. Courtney DeVries, Craig H. Kinsley, Kelly G. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


From 5 to 22 months of age, cognitive and emotional responses of nulliparous, primiparous, and multiparous rats were assessed using a dry land maze (DLM) and an elevated plus-maze (EPM) at 4-month intervals. Parous rats exhibited improved spatial memory in the probe and competitive versions of the DLM, and more exploration in the EPM and a novel stimulus test relative to nulliparous females. The nulliparous females, however, outperformed parous rats during the DLM visual cue test at 17 months of age. At 23 months, no differences in stressed corticosterone levels or Golgi-stained hippocampal neurons were observed. Thus, cognitive and emotional modifications were observed in parous rats; the neurobiological mechanisms for these enduring effects, however, remain to be identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1084-1096
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Exploratory behavior
  • Hippocampus
  • Maternal behavior
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Maternal experience produces long-lasting behavioral modifications in the rat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this