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Reproductive Responses of Rats

            Behavioral Neuroscience is the study of how the nervous system handles behavioral effects in parts of the brain that control ones learning, memory, and motor performance. In our study we used rats to find out if prenatal stress can alter an off spring in the last week of the rat's pregnancy. This is considered the organizational period in which there is exposure to hormones prenatally. We tested this by stressing the mother rat and determine if it has any effect on the male off spring. We determined this by judging the sexual arousal of the male off spring when confronted with a female rat. Cherly A. Frye did a similar studying trying to determine if prenatal stress alters a female rat's sexual behavior. The Dependent variable in both studies was the sexual behavior by the rats. .
             Chary A. Frye and Zoe A Orecki (2002) studied whether "Prenatal Stress Alters Reproductive Responses of Rats in Behavioral Estrus and Paced Mating of Hormone-Primed Rats" they did this by putting a prenatal rat in a restraint under a bright light for 45 minutes on Gestational Days 14 to 20. After the rats were 60 to 90 days of age they would expose the rats to 20 minutes of light prior to testing, which they said would amplify the stress response when trying to mate. They first tested their motor behavior by putting them into a box that was brightly lit and every time the rat broke the beam of light it was recorded. The second test was a sexual behavior test, the female rats were put in a box with a male rat to see how the stressed female rat would respond. The third test was a pacing test for sexual behavior and this was studied by allowing the female rat to enter the male rat's chamber but the male rat could not enter the females. The results from the first test was that the prenatally stressed rat "made significantly fewer beam breaks in horizontal crossing task" (Frye 2002) which shows its lack of motor skills.

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