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• 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


Perinatal Development

fetal ratAll mammals undergo a common, fundamental, and dramatically rapid developmental transition from life as a fetus inside the mother’s body, to a newborn that is challenged with the requirements of new and vital functions such as oral ingestion, temperature regulation, and social interactions. The life of a fetus and the life of a newborn are so different that we are essentially studying metamorphosis when examining life across the birth transition. We have found that the experience of being born is itself a mechanism for development.



Selected Publications

Smotherman, W. P., Robinson, S. R., Ronca, A. E., Alberts, J. R., & Hepper, P. G. baby(1991). Heart rate response of the rat fetus and neonate to a chemosensory stimulus. Physiol Behav, 50(1), 47-52. PDF

Alberts, J. R., & Ronca, A. E. (1993). Fetal experience revealed by rats: Psychobiological insights. Early Human Development, 35, 153-166.

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.

Ronca,A.E., Kamm, K., Thelen, E., & Alberts, J. R. (1994). Proximal control of fetal ratbehavior. Developmental Psychobiology, 27(1), 23-38. PDF

Alberts, J. R., & Ronca, A. E. (1996). Fetal behavior in developmental psychobiology. Developmental Psychobiology, 29(3), 185-190. PDF

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

Abel, R. A., Ronca, A. E., & Alberts, J. R. (1998). Perinatal stimulation facilitates suckling onset in newborn rats. Developmental Psychobiology, 32(2), 91-99. PDF

Alberts, J. (2008). Self-sensitivity in fetal development. Infancy, 13(3), 270-274. PDF