Comparison of Social Behavior and Housing Condition Effects on Sociability Scores in LEWES and NY3 Mouse Lines Using a Three-Chamber Paradigm Test

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Studying social behavior in mice is a crucial area of research in neuroscience, providing insights into information transmission between conspecifics and modulators of their behavior in addition to identifying what these social signals may control. However, little research has been done to compare social behaviors amongst strains of wild-derived mice such as NY3 and LEWES, which have been bred from mice caught in the wild compared to the typically utilized laboratory strains bred for generations within the laboratory. The objective of this research project is to differentiate between social behaviors, as measured by sociability scores, in these mouse lines using a three-chamber paradigm test (3CT). The study also aims to assess the effects of housing conditions, specifically between single-housing and pair-housing, on sociability given the implications of isolation as a social stressor, and thus making it important to understand the impact of housing conditions on social behavior in these mouse lines. The three-chamber paradigm test is a commonly used technique used for studying social behavior in mice which involves placing a test mouse in a chamber with three compartments and giving it the opportunity to interact with either a stranger mouse, the social stimulus, or an inanimate object, the non-social stimulus. The subsequently derived sociability score is a measure of how much time the test mouse spends in the compartment with the social stimulus compared to the time spent with the non-social stimulus, and is ultimately used as a measure of social behavior in mice. The outcomes of this study may be of significant value in future behavioral studies involving these or genetically similar mouse strains, as they may provide insight into the determinants of sociability and the ways in which housing conditions may affect such social behaviors.

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