Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Craig H. Kinsley

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Burnette

Third Advisor

Dr. R. Adam Franssen


All mammalian females undergo behavioral and neurological changes during pregnancy and motherhood. Many of these changes lead to an enhanced ability to be an effective mother including: increased memory, foraging behaviors, and boldness. Here, we examined the differences in rehearsal strategies between mother and virgin rats. Stops made by rats when exploring their environment have been found to result in reverse replay activity in the hippocampus (Foster & Wilson, 2006). Reverse replay is sequential replay that occurs in the hippocampus immediately after a spatial experience; this replay/activation is in reversed order of the initial spatial episode (Foster & Wilson, 2006). Thus, rats are replaying the steps they have just taken. Here, animals were introduced into a linear track for 3 consecutive days. The number and duration of stops were recorded. We found that parous females made fewer stops compared to virgin females; however, they stopped for the same duration. Therefore, we propose that parous females may utilize reverse replay activation differently than virgin females.

Included in

Psychology Commons