Alberts Laboratory Site Navigation

• Lab Home

Research Areas

• Sensory and Physiological Development

• Perinatal Development

• Parental Behavior and Parent-Offspring Relations

• Weaning

• Ontogenetic Adaptation

• Ontogeny of Sociality

• Experience-Based Mechanisms, Learning and Memory

• Space/Gravitational Biology


• Chapters, Reviews and Essays


• Faculty, Student and Staff Information


Alberts Laboratory
1010 E 13th St
Bloomington, IN 47408
(812) 855-3309


Ontogenetic Adaptation

ontogeny 1Adaptation is a key element in both evolutionary and Ontogeny 2developmental theory. We use adaptive-evolutionary constructs to frame and to guide many of our investigations. Applying the construct of ontogenetic adaptation is a distinction of the approach used in the Alberts Lab



Alberts, J. R., & Gubernick, D. J. (1984). Early learning as ontogenetic adaptation for ingestion by rats. Learning and Motivation, 15, 334-359. PDF

ontogeny 3Gubernick, D. J., & Alberts, J. R. (1984). A specialization oftaste aversion learning during suckling and its weaning-associated transformation. Developmental Psychobiology, 17(6), 613-628.

Alberts, J. R. (1987). Early learning and ontogenetic adaption. In N. A. Krasnegor, E. M. Blass, M. A. Hofer & W. P. Smotherman (Eds.), Perinatal Development: A psychobiological perspective (pp. 11-37). New York: Academic Press. Alberts, J. R. (1994). Learning as adaptation of the infant. Acta Paediatrica, 83(s397), 77-85. PDF

Ronca, A. E., Abel, R. A., & Alberts, J. R. (1997). Perinatal stimulation and adaptation of the neonate. Acta paediatrica Supplemental, 416, 8-15. PDF ontogeny 4

Hoffman, C. M., Flory, G. S., & Alberts, J. R. (1999). Neonatal thermotaxis improves reversal of a thermally reinforced operant response. Developmental Psychobiology, 34(2), 87-99. PDF

Hoffman, C. M., Flory, G. S., & Alberts, J. R. (1999). Ontogenetic adaptation and learning: a developmental constraint in learning for a thermal reinforcer. Developmental Psychobiology, 34(2), 73-86. PDF

Alberts, J. R., & Ronca, A. E. (2005). Development as adaptation: A paradigm for gravitational and space biology. In G. Sonnenfeld (Ed.), Experimentation with animal models in space (Vol. 10, Advances in space biology and medicine, pp. 175-207). Netherlands: Elsevier. PDF

Alberts, J. R. (2008). The nature of nurturant niches in ontogeny. Philosophical Psychology, 21(3), 295-303. PDF