This chapter describes maternal behavior of the laboratory rat and outlines various methods of observing and quantifying this behavior. Although in some rodent biparental species males also show parental behavior, this is not the case for most rodents, including R. norvegicus. However, under certain experimental conditions, males also show many of the components of behavior normally shown by the mother rat. The general and specific methods for the testing of maternal behavior are described. Several environmental and situational factors that affect the expression of maternal behavior are considered.
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