Reports

Nutritional and Environmental Interactions in the Behavioral Development of the Rat: Long-Term Effects

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Science  07 Apr 1972:
Vol. 176, Issue 4030, pp. 68-71
DOI: 10.1126/science.176.4030.68

Abstract

The behavioral effects of early malnutrition and early environmental isolation were observed in male rats. Dietary and environmental manipulations occurred during the first 7 weeks of life, after which followed a 10-week recovery period. On the basis of several different responses, it was found that the behavioral effects of early malnutrition were exaggerated by the environmental isolation. In most cases, the behavioral effects of early malnutrition were completely eliminated by supplying "additional stimulation" early in life. Two theoretical mechanisms are proposed to explain these findings.