Social Domain

Three chambers sociability and social novelty test – This test aims to to evaluate animal levels of sociability (preference of an unfamiliar mouse over an object) and preference for social novelty (preference of a novel stranger over a familiar one).The device used in this test consists of three chambers (left, right and central); the central chamber is connected to the others with doors. In the habituation phase, the animal is allowed to explore the device freely for 10 minutes. In the second, sociability phase, a stranger mouse is placed in one of the lateral chambers (inside a specially devised cup with bars). In the social novelty phase another stranger is similarly introduced into the other lateral chamber. During phases 2 and 3, time spent in each chamber, number of approaches to each stranger mouse and their frequency are tracked and recorded.

[This test is applicable to mice only]

Reference:

Nadler JJ, Moy SS, Dold G, Trang D, Simmons N, Perez A, Young NB, Barbaro RP, Piven J, Magnuson TR, Crawley JN (2004) Automated apparatus for quantitation of social approach behaviors in mice. Genes Brain Behav 3(5):303-314


Social interaction in pairs – The aim of this test is to investigate levels of sociability displayed in mutual social exploration of two hitherto unfamiliar animals. The test is performed in a neutral cage. Before the test, each individual animal goes through a 10 min session in the neutral cage alone (habituation to test conditions). After habituation, the two unfamiliar animals are placed together in the neutral cage for 10 min. The time and frequency spent in different kinds of social interactions is measured.

[This test is applicable to rats and mice]

Reference:

Jamain S, Radyushkin K, Hammerschmidt K, Granon S, Boretius S, Varoqueaux F, Ramanantsoa N, Gallego J, Ronnenberg A, Winter D, Frahm J, Fischer J, Bourgeron T, Ehrenreich H, Brose N (2008) Reduced social interaction and ultrasonic communication in a mouse model of monogenic heritable autism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105(5):1710-1715


Resident intruder test – In this test for aggressive social interaction, same sex mice are first individually housed (for 7 days before testing) as cage resident mice. As the intruder mouse a group caged same sex and age mouse is selected. The intruder is introduced into the cage of the test resident mouse. The observation starts when the resident first sniffs the intruder. The observation stops when the first attack (by either mouse) occurs, or when no attack has occurred by 5 minutes observation.

[This test is applicable to mice only]

Reference:

Koolhaas JM, Coppens CM, de Boer SF, Buwalda B, Meerlo P, Timmermans PJ (2013) The resident-intruder paradigm: A standardized test for aggression, violence and social stress. J Vis Exp(77):e4367