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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Ryan Yoder

Department/Program

Department of Psychology

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne

Abstract

The survival of most species depends on accurate navigation, which enables them to find food and shelter as well as potential mates. The strategies used for navigation vary among species, and recent studies have shown that navigation strategies can vary within species depending on the season or environment. For example, some species of mice show sex differences in navigation whereas other species have produced mixed results (Galea et al., 1994; LaBuda et al., 2002; Jonasson, 2005). Importantly, these studies have only tested landmark navigation in light, but it is possible that sex differences may manifest in darkness, where mice must use non-visual navigation strategies. To test this, we evaluated the non-visual navigation performance of male and female C57BL/6J mice, a strain commonly used in research. We food restricted young adult mice for one day prior to training and then tested them with a Lashley III maze where each mouse had five trials to navigate through the maze to reach the food reward. Latency to reach the food cup and the number of errors (wrong turns or turning around in an alley) were used to quantify performance. Our results indicate no sex differences in navigation performance of the Lashley III maze. Further studies are needed to determine if sex differences occur in other non-visual navigation tasks.

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Male and Female Mice Show Similar Navigation Performance in Darkness

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