Transfer of effects from environmentally enriched and impoverished female rats to future offspring

Physiol Behav. 1987;39(2):187-90. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(87)90008-4.


The effects of environmental enrichment on both brain and behaviour have been the subject of systematic investigation for more than two decades. However, scant attention has been paid to the possible effects on offspring of environmental enrichment of the parental generation. Experiments are described which demonstrate that manipulation of the environments of female rats even prior to pregnancy can significantly modify the behaviour of future offspring. The importance of the investigation of the mechanisms mediating this inter generation transfer is discussed in the context of recent interest in clinical applications of environmental enrichment research.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Suckling
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Play and Playthings
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats