Weaning of Young Rats: Effect of Time on Behavior

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Science  28 Jan 1966:
Vol. 151, Issue 3709, pp. 475-476
DOI: 10.1126/science.151.3709.475


Male rats were weaned on the 15th, 16th, 17th, 25th, and 30th day of postnatal life. The rate of elaboration of the conditioned reflex at 8 months of age and the stability of the memory trace at 12 months were studied. Compared with rats weaned at 30 days of age, those weaned on day 15 elaborated the conditioned reflex much more slowly and the memory trace was less firm. Rats weaned on days 16 and 17 elaborated the conditioned reflex more quickly than rats weaned on day 15 but more slowly than those weaned on day 30. In all groups the memory trace showed the same stability and was significantly firmer than in rats weaned on day 15. The higher nervous activity of rats weaned at the age of 25 days more nearly resembles that of rats weaned at 15 days than the 30th day.