Maternal behavior stimulates c-fos activity within estrogen receptor alpha-containing neurons in lactating rats.

Estradiol and other hormones are thought to be critical for the onset, but not maintenance, of maternal behavior in rats. Maternal behavior is instead maintained postpartum by tactile stimulation that dams receive during interactions with pups, and many neural sites implicated in the control of maternal behavior show elevated c-fos activity in response to… (More)