all slides - Parental Behaviors Parental behaviors: Any...

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Parental Behaviors Parental behaviors: Any behaviors that contribute to the survival of fertilized eggs or offspring - No parental care: Common in fish, amphibians, and reptiles - Care from 1 parent: Usually which parent? - Care from 2 parents: Very rare Various degrees of maternal care, very rare paternal care: - Sacrificing additional mating opportunities At an evolutionary disadvantage - Paternity is certain (in a monogamous relationship) - Offspring cannot survive without biparental care - Males can carry out same parental roles as females - E.g. Birds
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Human Parental Behaviors No universal, typical set of behaviors Some behaviors common with animals, animal studies with different experimental manipulations may help us understand human parental behaviors Various degrees of parental care Exceptionally long period of parental care
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Common Mammalian Maternal Behavior Nursing: Characteristic hormonal changes Milk production: Increase in prolactin Milk letdown: Increase in oxytocin (also important for uterus contraction during parturition) Important hormonal changes towards the end of pregnancy and parturition: - Progesterone decreases - Estrogen increases - Stress hormone cortisol increases (related to mother- infant bonding)
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Estrogen and Progesterone Estrogen:Progesterone ratio: If increases during pregnancy more positive attachment formed to their infants compared to women with no change or decrease in ratio
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Stress Hormones New mothers with higher cortisol concentrations: - More attracted to their own infant’s odors - Better at identifying their own infant - Found general cues from infants highly appealing - Engage in more physically affectionate behaviors - Talk more often to babies May act indirectly by increasing mother’s general level of arousal More responsive to infant-related cues In rats, pups’ suckling increases prolactin Increase in corticosterone (a stress hormone similar to cortisol)
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Oxytocin Increase in oxytocin Mother-infant bonding In sheep and in rats: Brain oxytocin injection in non- pregnant females Maternal behavior to infants
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Maternal Aggression Towards predators or other members of the same species Triggered by pup’s suckling: - Intense increase in maternal aggression after 48 hours of suckling - Surgical nipple removal lowered aggression Coincide with elevated level of serotonin: - serotonin-blocker decreases maternal aggression - Different from male aggression
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Paternal Hormone Changes Prolactin: - Increase just before child birth - Observed in fathers more alert and more responsive to infant crying Cortisol: - Decreased level in expectant father compared to non- expectant males Testosterone: - Decreased level in expectant fathers compared to non- expectant males - Lower level in fathers and non-fathers showed more sympathy and need to respond to infant cries than those with higher level Importance of experience: Fathers are more responsive to infant-associated cues than non-fathers
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course BIO SCI 05027 taught by Professor Ho during the Winter '08 term at UC Irvine.

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all slides - Parental Behaviors Parental behaviors: Any...

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