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Behavioral and Brain Functions

, 13:9

Attention, learning and behavior: Animal studies


BackgroundSex has been considered as a potential factor regulating individual behaviors in different contexts. Recently, findings on sex differences in the neuroendocrine circuit have expanded due to exact measurements and control of neuronal activity, while findings on sex differences in behavioral phenotypes are limited. One efficient way to determine the miscellaneous aspects of a sexually different behavior is to segment it into a set of simpler responses induced by discrete scenes.

MethodsIn the present study, we conducted a battery of behavioral tests within a variety of unique risky scenes, to determine where and how sex differences arise in responses under those scenes.

ResultsA significant sex difference was observed in the avoidance responses measured in the two-way active and the passive avoidance tests. The phenotype observed was higher mobility in male mice and reduced mobility in female mice, and required associative learning between an escapable risk and its predictive cue. This was limited in other scenes where escapable risk or predictive cue or both were missing.

ConclusionsTaken together, the present study found that the primary sex difference occurs in mobility in the avoidance response after perceiving escapable risks.

KeywordsSex difference Associative learning Avoidance behavior Mobility Context Behavioral test battery Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12993-017-0126-3 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Autor: Sayaka Yokota - Yusuke Suzuki - Keigo Hamami - Akiko Harada - Shoji Komai


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