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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)
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)
Although the critical role of maternal care on the development of brain and behaviour of the offspring has been extensively studied, knowledge about the importance of paternal care is comparatively scarce. In biparental species, paternal care significantly contributes to a stimulating socio-emotional family environment, which most likely also includes(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)
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)
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)
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)
Emotional experience during early life has been shown to interfere with the development of excitatory synaptic networks in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and the amygdala of rodents and primates. The aim of the present study was to investigate a developmental "homoeostatic synaptic plasticity" hypothesis and to test whether stress-induced changes of(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)