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The impact of early postnatal environmental enrichment on maternal care and offspring behaviour following weaning

Ki, Angel Li; Torp Lund, Emilie; Voigt, Jörg-Peter

Authors

Angel Li Ki

Emilie Torp Lund

Jörg-Peter Voigt peter.voigt@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

The early postnatal period is a sensitive period in rodents as behavioural systems are developing and maturing during this time. However, relatively little information is available about the impact of environmental enrichment on offspring behaviour if enrichment is implemented only during this period. Here, environmental enrichment was provided from postnatal day 1 until weaning. On post-natal day 9, maternal behaviour and nonmaternal behaviour of the dam was observed. Nursing time in the enriched group was reduced but dams showed more non-maternal appetitive behaviours. Offspring were exposed to either the open field or the elevated plus maze (EPM) after weaning. In the open field, rats from the enriched group approached the more aversive inner zone of the open field later than control rats. Offspring from the enriched group made fewer entries into the inner zone and spent less time in this part of the arena. Enrichment had no impact on behaviour in the EPM. The present study provides evidence that postnatal enrichment can interfere with maternal behaviour in rats and can possibly lead to increased anxiety in the offspring. The findings suggest that enrichment procedures can have potentially unintended effects, interfering with the development of emotional behaviours in rats.

Citation

Ki, A. L., Torp Lund, E., & Voigt, J. (2016). The impact of early postnatal environmental enrichment on maternal care and offspring behaviour following weaning. Behavioural Processes, 122, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2015.11.008

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 5, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 10, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 14, 2017
Journal Behavioural Processes
Print ISSN 0376-6357
Electronic ISSN 1872-8308
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 122
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2015.11.008
Keywords anxiety; elevated plus maze; enrichment; nursing; open field; rat
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/46071
Publisher URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376635715300760?via%3Dihub
Related Public URLs https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2015.11.008
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

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Li et al. BEPROC-D-15-00208 revised.pdf (361 Kb)
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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0





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