Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hebrew University researchers show how motherhood behavior Is influenced by alterations in brain function

25.10.2011
Instinctive mothering behavior towards care of newborns has long been recognized as a phenomenon in humans and animals, but now research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has shown that motherhood is associated with the acquisition of a host of new behaviors that are driven, at least in part, by alterations in brain function.

The research, by Dr. Adi Mizrahi of the Silberman Institute of Life Sciences and Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the Hebrew University, has just been published in the journal Neuron. It provides insight into how neural changes integrating odors and sounds lie behind a mouse mother’s ability to recognize and respond to distress calls from her pups.

“We know that distinct brain changes are linked with motherhood, but the impact of these changes on sensory processing and the emergence of maternal behaviors are largely unknown,” explains Mizrahi. “In mice, olfactory and auditory cues play a major role in the communication between a mother and her pups. Therefore, we hypothesized that there may be some interaction between olfactory and auditory processing so that pup odors might modulate the way pup calls are processed in the mother’s brain.”

Dr. Mizrahi and his post-doctoral colleague Dr. Lior Cohen examined whether the primary auditory cortex, a brain region that is involved in the recognition of sounds, might serve as an early processing region for integration of pup odors and pup calls. The primary auditory cortex is known as a site that undergoes functional changes in response to sensory input from the environment.

In their study, the researchers exposed regular mice, mice that had experienced interaction with their pups, and lactating mother mice to pup odors, and then monitored both spontaneous and sound-evoked activity of neurons in the auditory cortex. The odors triggered dramatic changes in auditory processing only in the females that had interacted with pups, while the lactating mothers were the most sensitive to pup sounds. The olfactory-auditory integration appeared in lactating mothers shortly after they had given birth and had a particularly strong effect on the detection of pup distress calls.

Taken together, the findings suggest that motherhood is associated with a previously un-described form of multisensory processing in the auditory cortex.

“We have shown that motherhood is associated with a rapid and robust appearance of olfactory-auditory integration in the primary auditory cortex occurring along with stimulus-specific adaptation to pup distress calls,” says Dr. Mizrahi. “These processes help to explain how changes in neocortical networks facilitate efficient detection of pups by their caring mothers.”

For further information: Jerry Barach, Dept. of Media Relations, the Hebrew University,
Tel: 02-588-2904.
Orit Sulitzeanu, Hebrew University spokesperson, Tel: 054-8820016

Jerry Barach | Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Further information:
http://www.huji.ac.il

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>