Ontogeny of preference for nutritive over nonnutritive suckling in albino rats

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Investigated nutritive vs nonnutritive suckling in 48 10–21 day old Sprague-Dawley rat pups in a spatial discrimination task. Ss preferred nutritive to nonnutritive suckling on their anesthetized mother at l7 and 21 days of age, but no preference was apparent in 10- and 12-day-old Ss. Rearing in isolation from the mother during Days 11–26 did not impair the development of preference for nutritive suckling in 16 17-day-old Ss. Thus, the appetitive component of suckling of infant rats, like the consummatory component, appears to come under the direct control of nutritional factors at the start of the weaning period. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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