Naomi W Hester

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From 5 to 22 months of age, cognitive and emotional responses of nulliparous, primiparous, and multiparous rats were assessed using a dry land maze (DLM) and an elevated plus-maze (EPM) at 4-month intervals. Parous rats exhibited improved spatial memory in the probe and competitive versions of the DLM, and more exploration in the EPM and a novel stimulus(More)
Short-term fluctuations in steroid hormones such as estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) can affect the concentration of hippocampal dendritic spines in adult, cycling nulliparous female rats. Pregnancy is characterized by a significantly longer duration of substantially elevated E2 and P compared to the estrous cycle. Thus, even greater changes than those(More)
In previous laboratory investigations, we have identified enhanced cognition and reduced stress in parous rats, which are likely adaptations in mothers needing to efficiently exploit resources to maintain, protect and provision their immature offspring. Here, in a series of seven behavioral tests on rats, we examined a natural interface between cognition(More)
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