This study seeks to determine the extent that maternal care of rodents influences anxiety levels, memory, and resiliency in the next generation. After categorizing maternal rats as Good and Bad mothers through a pup recognition test, they and their pups were put through a battery of behavioral tasks to assess anxiety (Elevated Plus Maze), memory (Novel Object Preference Test and Object Location Memory Task), and resiliency (Forced Swim Test). Preliminary results found that Good mothers have superior spatial and non-spatial memory in comparison to the Bad mothers. In addition, the pups raised by Good mothers showed greater resilience in comparison to pups raised by Bad mothers based on escape behaviors seen in the Forced Swim Test. This suggests that the type of mother a rodent is (i.e., Good mother or Bad mother) has on effect on their memory and the type of maternal care received by offspring influences resiliency.
Tignor, Dorian F., "Effect of Maternal Behavior on Anxiety, Resilience, and Memory in Sprague-Dawley Rats" (2021). Longwood Senior Theses. 8.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. R. Adam Franssen, Ph.D.