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Changes in Stereotypies: Effects over Time and over Generations.

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Tatemoto, Patricia 
Zanella, Adroaldo J  ORCID logo


Stereotypies comprise a wide range of repeated and apparently functionless behaviors that develop in individuals whose neural condition or environment results in poor welfare. While stereotypies are an indicator of poor welfare at the time of occurrence, they may have various consequences. Environmental enrichment modifies causal factors and reduces the occurrence of stereotypies, providing evidence that stereotypies are an indicator of poor welfare. However, stereotypy occurrence and consequences change over time. Furthermore, there are complex direct and epigenetic effects when mother mammals that are kept in negative conditions do or do not show stereotypies. It is proposed that, when trying to deal with challenging situations, stereotypies might initially help animals to cope. After further time in the conditions, the performance of the stereotypy may impair brain function and change brain connections, neurophysiology and eventually neuroanatomy. It is possible that reported neuroanatomical changes are an effect of the stereotypy rather than a cause.


Peer reviewed: True

Funder: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPQ)


Review, welfare, emotionality, gestation, brain change, stereotypy, stereotypic behavior

Journal Title

Animals (Basel)

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CNPQ (316457/2021-3)
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) (2018/01082-04)