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Research Areas

• Sensory and Physiological Development

• Perinatal Development

• Parental Behavior and Parent-Offspring Relations

• Weaning

• Ontogenetic Adaptation

• Ontogeny of Sociality

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


Parental Behavior and Parent-Offspring Relations

AG LickingWe study maternal behavior because the mother is one of the major environmental forces in a young mammal’s life.  Some rodents display bi-parental care, so we have examined such family systems as well.  We typically work with parents and offspring as an interacting, adaptive system and study the parts within such a context.



Selected Publications

Friedman, M. I., Bruno, J. P., & Alberts, J. R. (1981). Physiological and behavioralmother and litter consequences in rats of water recycling during lactation. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 95(1), 26-35. PDF

Gubernick, D. J., & Alberts, J. R. (1983). Maternal licking of young: Resource exchange and proximate controls. Physiology and Behavior, 31(5), 593-601.

Gubernick, D. J., & Alberts, J. R. (1987). The biparental care system of the California mouse, Peromyscus californicus. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 101(2), 169-177. PDF

Gubernick, D. J., & Alberts, J. R. (1987). "Resource" exchange in the biparental California mouse (Peromyscus californicus): Water transfer from pups to parents. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 101(4), 328-334. PDF

Alberts, J. R., & Gubernick, D. J. (1990). Functional organization of dyadic and triadic parent-offspring systems. In N. Krasnegor & S. Bridges (Eds.), Mammalian parenting. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ronca, A. E., Lamkin, C. A., & Alberts, J. R. (1993). Maternal contributions to sensory experience in the fetal and newborn rat (Rattus norvegicus). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 107, 61-74. PDF

Farrell, W. J., & Alberts, J. R. (1997). Development of maternal responsiveness to rat pup ultrasonic vocalizations. Abstract: Developmental Psychobiology.

Farrell, W. J., & Alberts, J. R. (2002). Stimulus control of maternal responsiveness to Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) pup ultrasonic vocalizations. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 116(3), 297-307. PDF

Farrell, W. J., & Alberts, J. R. (2002). Maternal responsiveness to infant Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) ultrasonic vocalizations during the maternal behavior cycle and after steroid and experiential induction regimens. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 116(3), 286-296. PDF

Ronca, A. E., Abel, R. A., Ronan, P. J., Renner, K. J., & Alberts, J. R. (2006). Effects of labor contractions on catecholamine release and breathing frequency in newborn rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 120(6), 1308-1314. PDF

Kojima, S., & Alberts, J. R. (2009). Maternal care can rapidly induce an odor-guided huddling preference in rat pups. Developmental Psychobiology, 51(1), 95-105. PDF