The added value of rodent models in studying parental influence on offspring development: Opportunities, limitations and future perspectives

Jelle Knop, Marian Joels, Rixt van der Veen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Over the past decades, the influence of parental care on offspring development has been a topic of extensive research in both human and animal models. Rodent models offer several unique advantages over human studies, allowing for higher levels of environmental control, exploration of interventions, genetic control and examination of underlying neurobiological mechanisms in greater spatiotemporal detail. Although exploitation of these opportunities has led to increased understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying susceptibility to the early-life environment, translation of results to human parenting and child development appears to be challenging. Attuning animal models to the human situation and application of novel structural and functional techniques is therefore of crucial importance to reduce the gap between rodent and human research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)174-181
    Number of pages8
    JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
    Volume15
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun-2017

    Keywords

    • EARLY-LIFE STRESS
    • MATERNAL SEPARATION
    • ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT
    • PREFRONTAL CORTEX
    • SENSITIVE PERIODS
    • EARLY ADVERSITY
    • ADULT LIFE
    • BRAIN
    • DEPRESSION
    • ANXIETY

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