Social recognition test

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The recognition test is based on the natural tendency of rodents to investigate a novel congener instead of a familiar one.

In this task, a first phase consists in presenting a congener the experimental subject. In a second phase, the experimental subject is exposed to two congeners, including the known one and a novel one. Observations of social interactions classically shows that the experimental subject preferentially investigate the unknown congener. This innate tendency involves intact social interactions and memory processes.

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Reasons for choosing this test

  • Allows studying both social and memory processes
  • Short and long-term memory for social information and cues that identify individual subjects
  • Requires amygdala-dependent and hippocampal-independent processes
  • Less influenced by non-specific locomotor effects
  • Standard test for phenotyping
  • Simple to set up and use
  • Does not require prior food deprivation
  • Sensitive for both rats and mice

Reasons for not choosing this test

  • Difficult to automatize
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