Document Detail

Infant-mother recognition in a social rodent (Octodon degus).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20476816     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Octodon degus (degu), a biparental species with precocious offspring is a potential model for the study of social attachment and related affective disorders such as depression. This study investigates the nature of the social bond between young degus and their mothers with a special emphasis on infant-mother recognition. We tested young degus in a potentiation paradigm to determine if social contact, particularly with the mother, can modulate an infant's vocal response to isolation. One week later, animals were presented with a choice between their mother and an unfamiliar female or a sample of familiar and unfamiliar nesting materials. Subsequently, the ability of whole litters to discriminate between their mother and unfamiliar females was tested. We observed that infant degus alter their isolation response after brief social contact. Degu infants readily distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar nesting materials but fail to differentiate between their mother and unfamiliar females in an identical setting. Nevertheless, entire litters show a preference for their mothers when tested similarly in a group, demonstrating a perhaps socially facilitated ability to recognize the biological mother at an early age.
Thomas Fuchs; Paolo Iacobucci; Katherine M MacKinnon; Jaak Panksepp
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)     Volume:  124     ISSN:  1939-2087     ISO Abbreviation:  J Comp Psychol     Publication Date:  2010 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-05-18     Completed Date:  2010-09-14     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8309850     Medline TA:  J Comp Psychol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  166-75     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.
Department of Biology, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Maternal Behavior*
Recognition (Psychology)*
Social Behavior*

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