At what age is the developing cerebral cortex of the rat comparable to that of the full-term newborn human baby?

Early Hum Dev. 1991 Jul;26(1):61-7. doi: 10.1016/0378-3782(91)90044-4.


By means of a comparative study of experimental data from the literature we estimated at what age the rat cerebral cortex corresponds to that of the full-term newborn human infant with regard to the degree of maturation. As a result of this study we suggest that the 12-13-day-old rat pup fulfills this criterion. This finding should be of use to scientists who use the rat for studying certain processes assumed to occur in the human cerebral cortex around full-term birth.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / embryology
  • Cerebral Cortex / growth & development*
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Electroencephalography
  • Fetal Organ Maturity
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neural Pathways / growth & development
  • Rats
  • Synapses / physiology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase