ERIC Number: EJ1112723
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Plasticity of the Maternal Brain across the Lifespan
Champagne, Frances A.; Curley, James P.
New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, n153 p9-21 Fall 2016
Maternal behavior is dynamic and highly sensitive to experiential and contextual factors. In this review, this plasticity will be explored, with a focus on how experiences of females occurring from the time of fetal development through to adulthood impact maternal behavior and the maternal brain. Variation in postpartum maternal behavior is dependent on estrogen sensitivity within the medial preoptic area of the hypothalamus and activation within mesolimbic dopamine neurons. This review will discuss how experiences across the lifespan alter the function of these systems and the multigenerational consequences of these neuroendocrine and behavioral changes. These studies, based primarily on the examination of maternal behavior in laboratory rodents and nonhuman primates, provide mechanistic insights relevant to our understanding of human maternal behavior and to the mechanisms of lifelong plasticity.
Descriptors: Mothers, Brain, Parent Child Relationship, Individual Development, Cognitive Processes, Behavior Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A