Stimuli for male mouse (Mus musculus) ultrasonic courtship vocalizations: Presence of female chemosignals and/or absence of male chemosignals

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In research on animal chemocommunication, biological odors are sometimes presented by being applied to a “neutral” animal (e.g., castrated or ovariectomized conspecific). This technique is typically utilized when the behavioral response to the odor requires the presence of a conspecific. In 5 experiments, DBA/2J and 2 F-sub-1 hybrid strains of mice that might be expected to be neutral stimuli were examined for their abilities to elicit ultrasonic courtship vocalizations from male mice. Paradoxically, adult castrated males, adult males that were neonatally castrated, hypophysectomized males, prepubertal females, and hypophysectomized females all elicited more vocalizations than would have been predicted from previous research in which their urine alone was used as the stimulus. These and previous results are consistent with courtship vocalizations being promoted by chemosignals from females and/or by an absence of cues from males. Thus, a truly neutral conspecific for presenting female sex odors may not exist in mice. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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