Sensory deprivation stress and supplemental stimulation in the rat pup and preterm human neonate.

S. M. Schanberg, T. M. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

154 Scopus citations


This article reviews the literature and presents data from our laboratories on sensory deprivation stress and supplemental stimulation of the rat pup and the preterm neonate. The data suggest that the effects of maternal deprivation in the rat pup (suppression of growth hormone release and protein synthesis) are regulated by a specific form of tactile stimulation: only brush stroking of maternally deprived rat pups returned growth parameters to normal; other forms of stimulation, including kinesthetic and vestibular stimulation, were ineffective in restoring normal functions. Other data are presented demonstrating that very small preterm neonates given tactile-kinesthetic stimulation gain more weight per day, spend more time awake and active, and show more mature habituation, orientation, motor, and range of state behaviors on the Brazelton assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1431-1447
Number of pages17
JournalChild development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1987
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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