Effects of small medial preoptic area lesions on maternal behavior: Retreiving and nest building in the rat

Carol D. Jacobson, Joseph Terkel, Roger A. Gorski, Charles H. Sawyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies in rats have demonstrated that large lesions in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) disrupt all aspects of maternal behavior. In the present study, small bilateral electrolytic lesions in the MPOA of lactating females abolished nest building and retrieving components of maternal behavior while crouching and nursing were unaffected. Animals which failed to show retrieval and nest building behaviors tended to have a greater area of lesion within the more dorsal part of the MPOA. Although the dorsal MPOA may play a role in the maintenance of the active components of maternal behavior, i.e. nest building and retrieving, another critical factor in determining which components of maternal behavior are disrupted may be the size of the lesion. As one increases the area of damaged tissue there is also an accompanying increase in the components of maternal behavior which are disrupted. No correlation was found between damage to the Sexually Dimorphic Nucleus of the preoptic area and retrieving and nest building.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-478
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Volume194
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Aug 1980
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
National Institutes of HealthNS01162, HD01182
Ford Foundation

    Keywords

    • electrolytic lesions
    • medial preoptic area
    • mental behavior
    • nest building
    • retrieving

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of small medial preoptic area lesions on maternal behavior: Retreiving and nest building in the rat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this