Experiential influences on brain development in rodent models

Nature of TreatmentSensitive Period or RangeEffect Later in Life
Prenatal stress (189, 366)Noise, restraintLast week of gestationNeophobia, increased HPA reactivity
Postnatal handling (178)Brief separation from motherPostnatal days 1–14Neophilia, decreased HPA reactivity
Maternal care (107, 223)Licking and grooming of pupsPostnatal days 1–14Neophilia, decreased HPA reactivity
Maternal separation (271)Prolonged separation from motherPostnatal days 1–14Neophobia, increased HPA reactivity
Novelty exposure (351)Exposure to noveltyPostnatal days 1–21Enhanced spatial working memory, social competition, larger HPA response to unexpected stressor
Aversive conditioning (237, 238)Odor-shock conditioningPostnatal day 8*Odor preference
Postnatal day 12–15Odor preference
Postnatal day 12–15Odor avoidance
Postnatal day 23*Odor avoidance
  • * With or without mother present.

  • With mother present.

  • Without mother. Please see text for description.