Development of posture in the rat

Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 1993;53(4):517-23.


Postural development has not attracted much attention in investigations of neuro-ontogeny. In the rat, motor behaviours have been studied repeatedly but the development of postural control has been largely neglected. In the present study we have taken inventory of behavioural aspects of postural development. Postures and postural skills of 10 pups were 3-dimensionally recorded on video tape from the 2nd to the 20th day. The development of posture may be subdivided into three periods. During the first period, lasting until the 4th or 5th day, neonates were unable to lift their trunk from the floor, and the only indication for postural activity being head lifting. From then until the 12th-13th day, pups were able to walk, though staggering, and in addition they groomed and reared with forelimb support. From then, in a rapid development lasting until day 16, the adult type of fluent locomotion developed as well as grooming and rearing without support. In addition, complex motor acts developed. These results are discussed in the perspective of the structural and functional development of postural systems.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Rats / growth & development*
  • Rats, Inbred Strains