Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor's Name

Robert Lickliter

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

Anthony Dick

Advisor's Name

Lidia Kos

Keywords

Quail, Progesterone, Prenatal, Emotional, Reactivity

Date of Defense

2012

Abstract

Non-genetic maternal influences on prenatal development have a significant effect on the development of early life behavior. This study assessed the behavioral effect of elevated prenatal progesterone on postnatal emotional reactivity, or underlying fear and stress, in embryos of Northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). Test groups of progesterone treated eggs, vehicle treated, and no injection were exposed to three measures of emotional reactivity at 48 and 96 hours after hatch: an open field, an emergence test, and a tonic immobility test. Heightened levels of emotional reactivity in the tonic immobility emergence tasks, and decreased levels of emotional reactivity in the open field suggest that elevated prenatal progesterone modifies post natal emotional reactivity up to 96 hours of age.

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