Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type



Faculty of Arts and Sciences



Date of Original Version



The focus of this study was to determine the effects of early somatosensory (tactile) stimulation and acoustic discrimination experiences in hypoxic-ischemic (HI) male rats on long-term behaviors, learning sensory, and brain weight outcomes. 58 Wistar rats were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions: no stimulation, somatosensory stimulation and auditory stimulation. To observe the effects of the early life stimulation on adult behavioral measures, the following testing was performed: analysis of exploratory behavior, acoustic discrimination, spatial/memory learning, and brain weight. Overall we hypothesized that somatosensory and auditory interventions earlier in life would have beneficial effect on subjects’ performance in all the testing. Results suggested that tactile and auditory stimulation in early life did not have any significant beneficial effects on improving spatial learning, auditory processing or exploratory behavior in HI and sham subjects. However, some beneficial effect was found in the spatial memory task but only for the tactile HI and auditory sham group.