UNIT 8.15 Parental Behaviors in Rats and Mice

  1. Joseph S. Lonstein1,
  2. Alison S. Fleming2

Published Online: 1 FEB 2002

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0815s17

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Lonstein, J. S. and Fleming, A. S. 2002. Parental Behaviors in Rats and Mice. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 17:8.15:8.15.1–8.15.26.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

  2. 2

    University of Toronto at Massachusetts, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2002
  2. Published Print: OCT 2001


Parental care in mammals is often critical for survival and development of the offspring. The multiple behaviors that comprise parental care in rats and mice are controlled by a complex array of factors. This unit describes the components of parental care in rats and mice and the frequently used methods to assess the performance of these behaviors, a subject's preference for pup-related cues, as well as a subject's motivation to act parentally.