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Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science




Previous has research has indicated that maternal rats exhibit a lessened fear and stress response within a novel environment, in comparison with nonmaternal rats, as shown by a correlation between behavioral data and c-­fos activation within the basolateral amygdala (BLA). The current study will address the question of how this response is mediated within the BLA. The amygdala is heavily involved in the regulation and recognition of emotion, as well as in the formation of emotionally salient memories. Mothers have been seen to exhibit neuronal structural changes to their amygdalas as a function of motherhood, which in turn causes increased sensitivity to stimuli changes. The present study hypothesized that the lessened fear response exhibited by maternal rats is mediated by the expression of insulin-­‐growth factor II, a protein involved in memory consolidation and learning. Results from this study were inconclusive, but generally indicative of a potential interaction between IGF-­‐II and activated neurons within the BLAs the both groups.