The best way to become a good mother may be to learn from an experienced mother. This is the conclusion of new research on female mice, as revealed by A New study Conducted by a team of scientists from New York University Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine.
Specialists filmed thousands of hours of interaction between female mice and found that the mice’s mothers are outstanding guardians.
“We discovered a behavior we had never seen before, in which new rat mothers, without being asked, brought virgin rats into the family nest with their cubs inside. These mothers also tried to teach the virgins how to care for the cubs,” revealed the lead author of the peer-reviewed study Ioana Karcia, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience Rutgers New Jersey School of Medicine, who led the study published in Nature Magazine.
“Basically what the mothers do is train the virgins to be good caregivers for the puppies. The virgins may not care for the cubs at first, but after observing the experienced mothers, they willingly begin to behave as the fathers do. The same can happen with mothers. This provides scientific evidence for benefits seen in human parenting classes or, interestingly, in multigenerational families.” These observations lead to oxytocin production in virgin females’ brains, which chemically shapes mothers’ behaviors even before they have their young.
In the study, Rutgers researchers and Grossman School of Medicine at New York University They filmed thousands of hours of female mice interacting with their newborns, as well as virgin mice. They analyzed simultaneous electrical recordings in a region of the brain known to produce Oxytocin, a hormone that plays a role in female reproduction and parenting behavior in both mice and humans. Oxytocin can shape maternal behavior even before mice have even had their young.
The researchers observed that a mother mouse collects her young in the family nest and trains another female that does not have young to perform the same parental task. This happened even when the mice watched the interaction through a clear plastic window.
The research team built on their previous studies of the so-called pleasure hormone, showing that the release of oxytocin is necessary not only to initiate breastfeeding, but also to initiate other maternal behaviors.
They also measured the electrical activity of the brain in virgin mice during grazing and afterwards when they became single mothers. They found that both the sight and sound of crying puppies emerging from their nests stimulated oxytocin production in a specific area of the brain., ventricular hypothalamic nucleus. When the scientists blocked the same oxytocin production pathways, the virgin mice did not learn to care for the pups.
The study’s principal investigator, Robert C. Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at NYU Langone Health-. Given the evidence, we suggest that similar mechanisms are at work in human mothers.” The team’s next step plans to examine whether the same orientation relationship exists between paternal mice and virgin males.
Back to History – Explains Psychologist Eliana Lipquin, co-creator of parenting groups-In ancestral tribes, women used to take part in childbirth and raising children with each other. In these tribes, the same symbol was created in connection with breeding. With the birth of modern societies, this has undergone a profound transformation. Various social, economic and political contexts affected the new lives of families. These new formations made the clan’s upbringing disappear along the way and the process of upbringing individualized. Proposing to return to the tribe or group by peer upbringing, not only allows them to build networks of containment and support, but also helps in coping with depression and loneliness. That there are many times in the puerperium, or that the anxieties and fears that occur during pregnancy dissipate, or that the doubts that have occurred can be revealed.”
“This paper redefines oxytocin’s role in brain function, extending its impact to the massive and complex social media activities that force the brain to pay attention and adapt to its environment at the time, either by responding to the sound of a screaming puppy or feelings of happiness,” concludes Frumke.