Neurobiology of Mammalian Parental Behavior

Neural basis of parental behavior

Becoming a father: Behavioral switch from infanticide to paternal care

Virgin male mice often attack newborn pups (infanticide). After mating and cohabitation with a pregnant female, male mice shift to provide paternal care, even toward non-biological offspring. The accessory olfactory system and the rhomboid nucleus of bed nuclei of stria terminalis (BSTrh) are involved in infanticidal behavior.

Becoming a mother

Pup rescue under risk

Postpartum mothers exhibit a higher motivation to care for offspring. In the maternal MPOA, calcitonin receptor (Calcr) and its ligand amylin are upregulated, and facilitate maternal care under risky conditions.