Mother rats pass along fears to their babies through smell, researchers find

July 29, 2014 11:15 AM

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Mother rats pass along fears to their babies through smell, researchers find

Researchers testing rats and their newborn pups showed the babies can adapt the specific fears of their mothers in the earliest days of life by picking up on the scent they emit while in emotional distress.

Scientists from New York University and University of Michigan studied mother rats who learned to fear the smell of peppermint through lab conditioning before they became pregnant.

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