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Analogous to the experience-driven development of sensory systems, the functional maturation of limbic circuits is significantly influenced by early socio-emotional experience. In a combined light and electron microscopic study in the anterior cingulate cortex of Octodon degus, the densities of spine and shaft synapses on apical dendrites of layer III(More)
It appears likely that, in analogy to the synaptic development of sensory and motor cortices, which critically depends on sensory or motor stimulation (Rosenzweig and Bennett, 1996), the synaptic development of limbic cortical regions are modulated by early postnatal cognitive and emotional experiences. The very first postnatal experience, which takes place(More)
Exposure to enriched or impoverished environmental conditions, experience and learning are factors which influence brain development, and it has been shown that neonatal emotional experience significantly interferes with the synaptic development of higher associative forebrain areas. Here, we analyzed the impact of paternal care, i.e. the father's emotional(More)
Decades of research in the area of developmental psychobiology have shown that early life experience alters behavioral and brain development, which canalizes development to suit different environments. Recent methodological advances have begun to identify the mechanisms by which early life experiences cause these diverse adult outcomes. Here we present four(More)
A quantitative anatomical study in the rodent anterior cingulate and somatosensory cortex, hippocampus, and lateral amygdala revealed region-, cell-, and dendrite-specific changes of spine densities in 3-week-old Octodon degus after repeated parental separation. In parentally separated animals significantly higher spine densities were found on the apical(More)
Evidence is accumulating that early emotional experience interferes with the development of the limbic system, which is involved in perception and regulation of emotional behaviors as well as in learning and memory formation. Limbic brain regions, as well as hypothalamic regions and other, nonlimbic areas contain specific neuron subpopulations, which(More)
The interactions between the mother/parents and their offspring provides socioemotional input, which is essential for the establishment and maintenance of synaptic networks in prefrontal and limbic brain regions. Since glial cells are known to play an important role in developmental and experience-driven synaptic plasticity, the effect of an early adverse(More)
Experimental studies in various animal models have revealed convincing evidence that stressful experience during early developmental periods produces a variety of behavioral, neuroanatomical and endocrine alterations, which are reminiscent of human mental disorders such as depression and various types of anxiety disorders. Since these mental disorders are(More)
The aim of this study in the biparental rodent Octodon degus was to assess the impact of paternal deprivation on neuronal and synaptic development in the orbitofrontal cortex, a prefrontal region which is essential for emotional and cognitive function. On the behavioral level the quantitative comparison of parental behaviors in biparental and single-mother(More)
The impact of juvenile stress exposure on astrocyte plasticity was assessed in the precocious rodent Octodon degus. Astrocytes expressing S100ss and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were quantified in the limbic medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), including the anterior cingulate (ACd), precentral medial (PrCm), infra- (IL) and prelimbic (PL) cortex and(More)