Assessing Sociability, Social Memory, and Pup Retrieval in Mice

Annemarie Zimprich, Jörn Niessing, Lior Cohen, Lillian Garrett, Jan Einicke, Bettina Sperling, Mathias V. Schmidt, Sabine M. Hölter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adaptive social behavior is important in mammals, both for the well-being of the individual and for the thriving of the species. Dysfunctions in social behavior occur in many neurodevelopmental and psychiatric diseases, and research into the genetic components of disease-relevant social deficits can open up new avenues for understanding the underlying biological mechanisms and therapeutic interventions. Genetically modified mouse models are particularly useful in this respect, and robust experimental protocols are needed to reliably assess relevant social behavior phenotypes. Here we describe in detail three protocols to quantitatively measure sociability, one of the most frequently investigated social behavior phenotypes in mice, using a three-chamber sociability test. These protocols can be extended to also assess social memory. In addition, we provide a detailed protocol on pup retrieval, which is a particularly robust maternal behavior amenable to various scientific questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-305
Number of pages19
JournalCurrent protocols in mouse biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • mice
  • pup retrieval
  • social behavior
  • social memory
  • three-chamber sociability cage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing Sociability, Social Memory, and Pup Retrieval in Mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this