Early-life handling stimulation and environmental enrichment: Are some of their effects mediated by similar neural mechanisms?

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Abstract

Neonatal (early) handling (EH) and environmental enrichment (EE) of laboratory rodents have been the two most commonly used methods of providing supplementary environmental stimulation in order to study behavioral and neurobiological plasticity. A large body of research has been generated since the 1950s, unequivocally showing that both treatments induce profound and long-lasting behavioral and neural consequences while also inducing plastic brain effects and being "protective" against some age-related deficits. The present work is aimed at reviewing the main neurobehavioral effects of both manipulations, with the final purpose of comparing them and trying to find out to what extent the effects of both treatments may share (or not) possible neural mechanisms. © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-245
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Volume73
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

Keywords

  • Age-related deficits
  • Anxiety
  • Early experience
  • Environmental enrichment
  • Hippocampus
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Neonatal handling
  • Neural plasticity
  • Stress

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