Raineki, C. and Pickenhagen, A. and Roth, T.L. and Babstock, D.M. and McLean, J.H. and Harley, C.W. and Lucion, A.B. and Sullivan, R.M. (2010) The neurobiology of infant maternal odor learning. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research , 43 (10). pp. 914-919. ISSN 1678-4510
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Infant rats must learn to identify their mother's diet-dependent odor. Once learned, maternal odor controls pups' approach to the mother, their social behavior and nipple attachment. Here we present a review of the research from four different laboratories, which suggests that neural and behavioral responses to the natural maternal odor and neonatal learned odors are similar. Together, these data indicate that pups have a unique learning circuit relying on the olfactory bulb for neural plasticity and on the hyperfunctioning noradrenergic locus coeruleus flooding the olfactory bulb with norepinephrine to support the neural changes. Another important factor making this system unique is the inability of the amygdala to become incorporated into the infant learning circuit. Thus, infant rats appear to be primed in early life to learn odors that will evoke approach responses supporting attachment to the caregiver.
|Keywords:||Amygdala; Attachment; Locus coeruleus; Maternal odor; Norepinephrine; Olfactory bulb|
|Department(s):||Medicine, Faculty of
Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
|Date:||10 September 2010|
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