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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


Sensory and Physiological Development

Most of our research is conducted with rats and mice, using species that are immature at birth (altricial), so the development of behavior is accompanied, if not led by, changes in sensory and physiological function.  Our more recent research also includes studies of how behavior leads changes in sensory and physiological function.

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Selected Publications

Alberts, J.R. (1978). Huddling by rat pups: Group behavioral mechanisms of temperature regulation andenergy conservation. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 92(2), 231-245. PDF

Alberts, J. R. (1978). Huddling by rat pups:Multisensory control of contact behavior. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 92(2), 220-230.

Alberts, J. R., & May, B. (1980). Ontogeny of olfaction: Development of the rat's sensitivity to urine and amyl acetate. Physiology and  Behavior, 24, 965-970. PDF

Martin, L. T., & Alberts, J. R. (1982). Associative learning in neonatal rats revealed by cardiac response patterns. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 96, 668-675.

Blumberg, M. S., & Alberts, J. R. (1990). Ultrasonic vocalizations by rat pups in the cold: An acoustic by-product of laryngeal braking? Behavioral neuroscience, 104(5), 808-817.

Blumberg, M. S., Efimova, I. V., & Alberts, J. R. (1992). Thermogenesis during ultrasonic vocalization by rat pups isolated in a warm environment: A thermographic analysis. Developmental Psychobiology, 25(7), 497-510.

Nelson, E. E., Alberts, J. R. (1998). Oxytocin is elevated in plasma of 10-day-old rats following gastric distention. Developmental Brain Research, 111(2), 301-303. PDF

Farrell, W. J., & Alberts, J. R. (2000). Ultrasonic vocalizations by rat pups after adrenergic manipulations of brown fat metabolism. Behavioral neuroscience, 114(4), 805-813. PDF

Alberts, J. R., Motz, B. A., & Schank, J. C. (2004). Positive geotaxis in infant rats (Rattus norvegicus): a natural behavior and a historical correction. J Comp Psychol, 118(2), 123-132. 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

Alberts, J. R. (2007). Huddling by rat pups: Ontogeny of individual and group behavior. Developmental Psychobiology, 49(1), 22-32.

Farrell, W. J., & Alberts, J. R. (2007). Rat behavioral thermoregulation integrates with nonshivering thermogenesis during postnatal development. Behavioral neuroscience, 121(6), 1333-1341. PDF

Ronca, A. E., Fritzsch, B., Bruce, L. L., & Alberts, J. R. (2008). Orbital spaceflight during pregnancy shapes function of mammalian vestibular system. Behavioral neuroscience, 122(1), 224-232. PDF