A battery of olfactory-based screens for phenotyping the social and sexual behaviors of mice


We provide a battery of screens that reflect the social and sexual behavior displayed by both captive and feral mice. Some screens focus on measuring aspects of chemical communication, providing information about whether or not mice will interact and if they do so, predict the nature of the interaction. Other screens measure direct interactions between target mice and same- and opposite-sex conspecifics, providing an indication of the social status and sexual responsiveness, respectively, of target mice. The battery of screens yields a high-throughput bioassay of a mouse's relative social status, competitive ability, social discrimination, and sexuality. These traits are essential elements of the socio-sexual behavior of mice as well as humans. Thus, by identifying phenotypic deviants for complex behaviors we will allow geneticists to map behavioral abnormalities onto specific chromosomes and increase the efficacy of genetically altered mice as models for human behavioral disorders. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Physiology and Behavior