Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Craig H. Kensley
As pregnancy progresses, the female is transformed from an animal that actively avoids pup-related cues (Kinsley, 1994) to one highly motivated to build nests, and retrieve, group, groom, and crouch over a set of pups. In the vast majority of events, motherhood progresses normally; in a striking subset, however, it does not. This study seeks to evaluate neurological differences in the dentate gyrus between primiparous females that respond maternally and those that do not when exposed to foster pups. It was hypothesized that the attentive mothers which perform the expected maternal behaviors have a different number of triple labeled BrdU(measuring new neurons)/Fos (showing activated neurons)/NeuN (showing mature neurons) neurons than the un-responsive neglectful mothers which do not show maternal behaviors. It was concluded that mothers who display maternal behavior have more mature neurons showing both c-fos activation and BRDU incorporation than mothers who do not respond maternally.
Stoneman, Danielle Christina Worthington, "Attentive mothers versus minimally invested/neglectful mothers : the development of new neurons in the hippocampus specifically activated by foster pup exposure" (2008). Master's Theses. 1058.