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Indiana University Bloomington

Jeffrey  Alberts

Dr. Jeffrey Alberts



alberts [at]

office: PY 326 | (812)855-3309

lab: Animal Behavior Lab
   ABL | (812)855-0470


Ontogeny of species-typical behavior; maturation of sensory and physiological processes; development of learning and memory

Educational Background

  • 1969 - B.A., Psychology, McMaster University
  • 1970 - M.A., Comparative Psychology, McMaster University
  • 1972 - M.A., Neural Science & Behavior, Princeton University
  • 1974 - Ph.D., Neural Science & Behavior, Princeton University

Areas of Study

  • Animal Learning and Behavior
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Developmental Psychology

Research Topics

  • Ontogeny of species-typical behavior
  • Maturation of sensory and physiological processes
  • Development of learning and memory

Research Summary:

Dr. Albert's research program is dedicated to describing and elucidating functional and mechanistic aspects of the development of species-typical behavior in rodents. Currently, he is studying sensory and motor capabilities in fetal rats as a means of understanding adaptation to prenatal life as well as anticipation of the postnatal environment. Dr. Alberts is analyzing the ultrasonic vocalizations of infant rodents, not just as a form of acoustic communication with the parent, but also as an aspect of early thermal and oxygen homeostasis. Both of these lines of research reflect the combined behavioral and physiological approach often used in his laboratory. Studies of weaning in rodents are another part of the program, for the transition from suckling to independent feeding is a universal developmental process in mammalian ontogenesis. Because parents are a part of a mammal's typical environment, Dr. Albert's lab also is devoted to novel analyses of parental behavior, including biparental care, and parent-offspring interactions.

Representative Publications

in Press - Alberts, J.R., Motz, Benjamin, & Schank, J. Positive geotaxis in rats: A natural behavior and an historical correction. Journal of Comparative Psychology.

2002 - Alberts, J.R. Simply Complex: Essentialism Trumps Reductionism. Current Neurology and Neurosciences Reports, 2, 379-381.

2002 - Farrell, W.J. & Alberts J.R. Stimulus Control of Maternal Responsiveness to Norway Rat Pup Ultrasonic Vocalizations Journal of Comparative Psychology, 116, 297-307.

2002 - Farrell, W.J. & Alberts J.R. Maternal Responsiveness to Infant Norway Rat Ultrasonic Vocalizations During the Maternal Behavior Cycle and Following Steroid and Experiential Induction Regiments Journal of Comparative Psychology, 116, 286-296.

Professional Organization Membership

  • Animal Behavior Society

  • International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, President (1985-1986)

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science

  • American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology

  • American Psychological Association

  • American Psychological Society

  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society