Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2024


Maternal behavior has long been studied for the implications it presents for offspring outcomes. In the present study, we examined the interplay between the positive effects of environmental enrichment and the negative consequences of loss – defined as a 50% litter cull – on both mothers and their offspring. In this multigenerational study, maternal Sprague Dawley rats were separated into one of four of the following conditions: enriched/control, enriched/loss, standard/control, and standard/loss. Maternal rats (P generation) were assessed using the following behavioral assays: Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) for anxiety-like behavior and boldness, Object Location Maze (OLM) for spatial memory, and Novel Object Preference test (NOP) for non-spatial memory. Analysis for these measures indicated mixed findings related to cognitive and behavioral outcomes. The study was repeated for the F1 generation; findings from these behavioral parameters provide insight into the multigenerational effects of positive attributes of life and negative life events on cognition and behavior, specifically memory, anxiety, and boldness.



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