Behavioral Research Blog

Serotonin and social skills: how adult mice differ from juveniles

Posted by G. Smit, MSc & A.H. Macbeth, PhD on Jan 7, 2016

Serotonin (5-HT) is a busy neurotransmitter, influencing such varied neuronal processes as memory, mood, emotion, appetite, and even sexuality. A prime role for this neurotransmitter is social behavior, across a variety of species; humans, rodents, primates, and even flies all rely upon serotonin to display normal social behaviors. These social effects are partly mediated through the serotonin receptor 5-HT2CR. This role has been confirmed by pharmacologic treatment, but until recently this work had focused primarily on adult rodents. In this current article, Séjourné and colleagues from the Scripps Research Institute (Florida, USA) for the first time investigated the role of 5-HT2CR in the development of social behavior.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, social behavior research, sociability test, seizure behavior

How an internal clock gene can alter innate behaviors in mice

Posted by G. Smit on Jul 24, 2014

Some might argue that laboratory mice are not the same as wild mice, yet they remain capable of performing the innate, routine behaviors necessary to survive in natural environments, such as courtship, nest-building, and exploratory activities. Still, their ‘non-natural’ (read: laboratory) environment may limit them in the expression of these behaviors, something we recently addressed in these blog posts.

Circadian rhythmicity

The internal circadian clock is of fundamental importance for animals to anticipate recurring events and ensuring basic behaviors, such as  gathering food and building a nest, occur in time. One of the ways we influence the animal’s natural capacity to perform these and other innate behaviors is by altering the light/dark cycle in a laboratory setting.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, circadian rhytmicity, sociability test, marble burying

Using several behavioral tests to investigate the role of the NR1 gene in schizophrenia

Posted by G. Smit on Jul 26, 2013

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, social behavior research, anxiety research, novel object test, schizophrenia, startle respons, sociability test

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