This chapter discusses fetal development in rats. Topics covered include the ecology of fetal development, movement and sensation during prenatal development, fetal action patterns, and proprioceptive stimuli and motor learning. Research has confirmed that behavioral organization, coordinated movement, sensory responsiveness, and learning all can be expressed in the prenatal rat. Study of the rat fetus thus is well situated to complement existing research approaches with adult rats as well as simpler systems to understand basic problems in behavioral neuroscience and neurobehavioral development.
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