2007-08 Erlbaum Winners' Abstracts
Maternal Separation Impairs Preference for Familiar Odors in Adolescent Female CD-1 Mice
Nathaniel R. Thomas, Syracuse University (NY)
Faculty Sponsor: Catherine Cornwell, PhD
This study was conducted to determine whether separating female mouse pups from their nest and dam for 180 (maternal separation) or 15 (early handling) min/daily, during the first 2 weeks of life, influenced olfactory preferences for nest odors. Mice were tested during adolescence on postnatal days 29, 39, and 49 for a choice of natural familiar shavings vs. natural novel shavings or familiar nest shavings. The results indicated that maternal separation decreased the preference for nest odors at all ages relative to the finding of stable preferences for nest odors in early handled females. The current study provides evidence that maternal separation may alter early olfactory learning for conspecific odors associated with the dam and nest.
Biological and Neurodevelopmental Differences Among Child Molesters and Rapists
Maggie Korn, Brandeis University (MA)
Faculty Sponsor: Raymond Knight, PhD
Rapists and child molesters are characteristically distinct, as their separate typologies suggest (Knight, Carter, & Prentky, 1989; Knight & Prentky, 1990). Missing, however, from these typologies are biological and dispositional variables that recent research suggests may be potential discriminators between and within sexual offender types including height, intelligence, and handedness. This study replicated findings related to lower intelligence and shorter height among child molesters. Many of the biological variables that were not able to differentiate offenders at the child molester/rapist dichotomy level, became significant (p < .05) when broken down into fixation levels. This finding supports Blanchard et al.’s (2002) hypothesis that distinct neurodevelopmental diathesis and/or specific formative experiences may be related to sexual offense behavior that focuses on children.