Modified Prenatal Sensory Stimulation Influences Postnatal Behavioral and Perceptual Responsiveness in Bobwhite Quail Chicks (Colinus virginianus)

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Reynolds, GD.,Lickliter, R.
Journal of Comparative Psychology
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Asynchronous bimodal stimulation during prenatal development elicits higher levels of behavioral and physiological arousal in precocial avian embryos than does unimodal sensory stimulation. To investigate whether the increased arousal associated with prenatal bimodal stimulation has enduring effects into postnatal development, bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) embryos received no supplemental stimulation, unimodal auditory stimulation, or bimodal (audiovisual) stimulation prior to hatching. Embryos exposed to concurrent bimodal stimulation demonstrated greater levels of behavioral activity and failed to use maternal visual cues to successfully direct species-specific perceptual preferences following hatching. These results provide initial evidence that asynchronous bimodal sensory stimulation during prenatal development can have enduring effects on early postnatal behavioral arousal and perceptual responsiveness and suggest that developmental limitations on prenatal sensory stimulation play an important role in the emergence of species-typical behavior.


Back to Resources