Thursday, October 12, 2017

Female mice remember and are more interested in males that appear attractive to other females

Social Cognition and the Neurobiology of Rodent Mate Choice. Martin Kavaliers Elena Choleris Author Notes. Integrative and Comparative Biology, Volume 57, Issue 4, October 1 2017, Pages 846–856, https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icx042

Synopsis: Various aspects of sociality, including mate choice, are dependent on social information. Mate choice is a social cognitive process that encompasses mechanisms for acquiring, processing, retaining and acting on social information. Social cognition includes the acquisition of social information about others (i.e., social recognition) and social information from others (i.e., social learning). Social cognition involves both assessing other individuals and their condition (e.g., health, infection status) and deciding about when and how to interact with them, thus, providing a frame-work for examining mate choice and its associated neurobiological mechanisms. In vertebrates, and in particular rodents, odors are an essential source of direct and indirect social information not only from others but also for others. Here, we briefly consider the relations between social cognition and olfactory-mediated mate choice in rodents. We briefly discuss aspects of: (1) social recognition of potential mates and the impact of infection threat on mate choice; (2) social learning and the utilization of the mate choices of others (“mate-choice copying”) including in the context of infection; and (3) the neurobiological mechanisms, with particular focus on particular the roles of the nonapeptide, oxytocin and the steroid hormones, estrogens, associated with social cognition and mate choice.

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