Odor-induced crawling locomotion in the newborn rat: Effects of amniotic fluid and milk

Valerie Mendez-Gallardo, Scott R. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Early locomotion in the neonatal rat previously has been reported 3 days after birth during exposure to an odor of biological relevance (nest material). The current study explores if other ecologically relevant stimuli-amniotic fluid (AF) and milk-could evoke a similar locomotor response in the newborn rat and whether the endogenous opioid system mediates the response. Newborn rats tested 24hr after birth were presented with the odors of AF or milk while placed in a runway. Pups expressed crawling and moved along the runway in response to direct exposure to the odors of AF and milk (Exp. 1). However, there was no evidence that this crawling response was altered after pretreatment with the opioid antagonist naloxone (Exp. 2). This study provides evidence of the capacity of AF and milk to evoke coordinated motor behavior, suggesting that they may play a role in the development of fundamental motor patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental psychobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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