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• Sensory and Physiological Development

• Perinatal Development

• Parental Behavior and Parent-Offspring Relations

• Weaning

• Ontogenetic Adaptation

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



Weaning, one of the universal processes of mammalian development, comprises the abandonment of nutritive intake by sucking mother’s milk and the acquisition of independent feeding and drinking. The weaning process can also be studied as a more general phenomenon: the developmental acquisition of independence, as well as an adaptive process of niche-shifting. We have examined weaning on several levels, always finding exciting data and rich insights.


Selected Publications

Martin, L. T., & Alberts, J. R. (1979). Taste aversions to mother's milk: The age-related role of nursing in acquisition and expression of a learned association. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 93(3), 430-445. PDF

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

Melcer, T., Alberts, J. R., & Gubernick, D. J. (1985). Early weaning does not accelerate the expression of nursing-related taste aversions. Dev Psychobiol, 18(5), 375-381. PDF

Thiels, E., & Alberts, J. R. (1985). Milk availability modulates weaning in the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 99(4), 447-456. PDF

Thiels, E., Cramer, C. P., & Alberts, J. R. (1988). Behavioral interactions rather than milk availability determine decline in milk intake of weanling rats. Physiology & Behavior, 42, 507-515. PDF

Melcer, T., & Alberts, J. R. (1989). Recognition of food by individual, food-naive, weaning rats (Rattus norvegicus). Journal of comparative psychology, 103(3), 243-251. PDF

Cramer, C. P., Thiels, E., & Alberts, J. R. (1990). Weaning in rats: I. Maternal behavior. Developmental Psychobiology, 23(6), 479-493. PDF

Thiels, E., Alberts, J. R., & Cramer, C. P. (1990). Weaning in rats: II. Pup behavior patterns. Developmental Psychobiology, 23(6), 495-510. PDF

Alberts, J. R. (1991). The onset of weaning in rats: An introduction for clinical researchers. In W. C. Heird (Ed.), Nutritional needs of the six to twelve month old infant (Vol. 2, pp. 71-87). New York: Raven Press.

Thiels, E., & Alberts, J. R. (1991). Weaning in the Norway rat: Relation between suckling and milk, and suckling and independent ingestion. Developmental Psychobiology, 24(1), 19-38. PDF

Gerrish, C. J., & Alberts, J. R. (1996). Environmental temperature modulates onset of independent feeding: warmer is sooner. Dev Psychobiol, 29(6), 483-495. PDF

Gerrish, C. J., & Alberts, J. R. (1997). Postsuckling behavior arousal in weanling rats (Rattus norvegicus). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 111(1), 37-49. PDF

Gerrish, C. J., Onischak, C. M., & Alberts, J. R. (1998). Acute, early thermal experience alters weaning onset in rats. Physiology & Behavior, 64(4), 463-474. PDF