ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (8): 1417-1428.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.01417

• Regular Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Neural mechanisms underlying dynamic changes of active maternal behavior in rodents

ZHANG Yifan1, QI Xingliang2, CAI Houde1,2()   

  1. 1 School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China
    2 College of Preschool Education, Nanjing Xiaozhuang University, Nanjing 211171, China
  • Received:2017-06-06 Online:2018-08-15 Published:2018-07-02
  • Contact: Houde CAI


Active maternal behavior refers to a set of motivated behaviors that promote female mammals to effectively care for the pups during their lactation, so it has a vital important role for the survival and behavioral development in pups. Evidence has shown that the active maternal behavior in rodents could dynamically change from the onset and maintenance in early postpartum to the decline in late postpartum, which reflects female rodents’ adaptation to the stage changes of incentive values in pups. This process not only involves in the pathway of medial preoptic area (MPOA)-ventral tegmental area (VTA)-nucleus accumbens (NA)-ventral pallidum (VP) opened by hormone profile at parturition, but also requires the basolateral amygdala (BLA), medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), and other areas to real-timely regulate this pathway. Studies on the dynamic changes about active maternal behavior and its neural mechanisms in lactating rodents could deepen our knowledge about the evolution and early development of behaviors, and also be helpful for the clinical intervention to postpartum depression in humans. This review illustrates the relationship between incentive values in pups and dynamic changes in active maternal behavior with evidence used by conditioned place preference (CPP), then systematically elaborates the neural mechanisms underlying dynamic changes of active maternal behavior, and finally discusses several major issues or future research directions.

Key words: active maternal behavior, dynamic changes, incentive values, neural mechanisms

CLC Number: