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Date of Award

1975

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Supervisor

Bennett G. Galef, Jr.

Language

English

Abstract

The results of the present series of experiments indicate that weanling domestic rat pups feed and explore in areas containing residual olfactory cues deposited by conspecific adults in preference to clean areas. Both nulliparous and lactating Long-Evans female rats can mark an area so as to induce pups to explore and feed in it. Residual cues continue to affect the feeding and exploratory behavior of pups to maturity.

Discrepancies between the results obtained in the olfactory discrimination apparatus (Leon &Moltz, 1971) and the present experiments are resolved and evidence presented for the existence of residual cues attractive to pups not contained in anal excreta. It is. suggested that residual cues deposited by adult rats can playa role in directing weanlings to their first meals of solid food in the natural environment.

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