In humans, discrimination between individuals, also termed social recognition, can rely on a single sensory modality, such as vision. By analogy, social recognition in rodents is thought to be based upon olfaction. Here, we hypothesized that social recognition in rodents relies upon integration of olfactory, auditory and somatosensory cues, hence requiring active behavior of social stimuli. Using distinct social recognition tests, we demonstrated that adult male mice do not exhibit recognition of familiar stimuli or learn the identity of novel stimuli that are inactive due to anesthesia. We further revealed that impairing the olfactory, somatosensory or auditory systems prevents behavioral recognition of familiar stimuli. Finally, we found that familiar and novel stimuli generate distinct movement patterns during social discrimination and that subjects react differentially to the movement of these stimuli. Thus, unlike what occurs in humans, social recognition in mice relies on integration of information from several sensory modalities.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP grant RGP0019/2015 ), the Israel Science Foundation (ISF grants #1350/12 , 1361/17 ), a binational joint program of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) of France and the Ministry of Science and Technology of Israel (grant #3-16545 ) and the Ministry of Science and Technology of Israel (Grant #3-12068 ).
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd
- Olfactory signature
- Sensory integration
- Sex discrimination
- Social behavior
- Social recognition
- Social whisking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry