Document Detail

Rodent model of infant attachment learning and stress.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20730787     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Here we review the neurobiology of infant odor learning in rats, and discuss the unique role of the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) in the learning necessary for the developing rat. During the first 9 postnatal (PN) days, infants readily learn odor preferences, while aversion and fear learning are attenuated. Such restricted learning may ensure that pups only approach their mother. This sensitive period of preference learning overlaps with the stress hyporesponsive period (SHRP, PN4-14) when pups have a reduced CORT response to most stressors. Neural underpinnings responsible for sensitive-period learning include increased activity within the olfactory bulb and piriform "olfactory" cortex due to heightened release of norepinephrine from the locus coeruleus. After PN10 and with the decline of the SHRP, stress-induced CORT release permits amygdala activation and facilitates learned odor aversions and fear. Remarkably, odor preference and attenuated fear learning can be reestablished in PN10-15 pups if the mother is present, an effect due to her ability to suppress pups' CORT and amygdala activity. Together, these data indicate that functional changes in infant learning are modified by a unique interaction between the developing CORT system, the amygdala, and maternal presence, providing a learning system that becomes more flexible as pups mature.
Stephanie Moriceau; Tania L Roth; Regina M Sullivan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental psychobiology     Volume:  52     ISSN:  1098-2302     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Psychobiol     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-10-19     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0164074     Medline TA:  Dev Psychobiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  651-60     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, Orangeburg, NY 10962, USA.
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