The social interaction test by pairs provides a popular and standard paradigm to study general social behavior.
This test allows the experimental subject to freely explore an unfamiliar congener in its home cage or in a neutral environment. Social exploration is measured by the time spent by the experimental subject around the congener as well as the amount and duration of behaviors that compose social interaction (e.g. sniffing, following, grooming, biting, mounting, wrestling, etc). Social avoidance behavior is used in a wide variety of models, for instance for assessing neophobia anxiety and depression-like behaviors.
Our social box provides an ideal experimental environment to conduct social interaction tasks. The box is divided in three interconnected compartments. Sliding doors are available for confining the animal in one specific compartment during the test. Two grid enclosures containing “stranger” animals can be placed in the box allowing a close interaction with the animal tested (as well as protection in case one of them manifests strong aggressive behavior).
Two models are available for rats and mice.