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Chemosensory and hormonal mediation of social memory in male rats.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Behavioral neuroscience
Publication Date
Volume
98
Issue
5
Pages
908–913
Identifiers
PMID: 6487419
Source
Medline

Abstract

The persistence with which adult male rats investigated a juvenile conspecific was significantly reduced following preexposure to either the juvenile or chemosensory stimuli (soiled bedding or urine) from that juvenile. The reduced persistence did not occur when the chemosensory stimulus came from a juvenile different from the one with which the subject was subsequently tested, which suggests the presence of a chemosensorily mediated social memory. It is suggested that any such memory may have adaptive value in that it permits a male rat to more readily identify a novel conspecific. Also, the lack of reduced persistence of social investigatory behavior in castrated subjects demonstrates the importance of male gonadal hormones in the formation, storage, and/or retrieval of the proposed chemosensorily mediated social memory.

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