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Dev Psychobiol. 1982 Mar;15(2):121-9.

Environmental effects on the ontogeny of exploratory and escape behaviors of Mongolian gerbils.


Mongolian gerbils reared in standard laboratory cages and gerbils reared in cages containing a burrowlike shelter did not differ in their rate of development of escape responses to sudden visual stimulation. The presence of shelter in the rearing environment did, however, markedly slow the development of adult-like patterns of exploration. Reduced exposure to illumination, experienced by shelter-reared subjects, proved responsible for this retardation of development. The effect of shelter-rearing on the development of exploratory behavior is interpreted as demonstrating an environmentally induced maintenance of an adaptive juvenile pattern of behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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