Differential Influence of Social Versus Isolate Housing on Vicarious Fear Learning in Adolescent Mice

Jules B. Panksepp, Garet Lahvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Laboratory rodents can adopt the pain or fear of nearby conspecifics. This phenotype conceptually lies within the domain of empathy, a bio-psycho-social process through which individuals come to share each other's emotion. Using a model of cue-conditioned fear, we show here that the expression of vicarious fear varies with respect to whether mice are raised socially or in solitude during adolescence. The impact of the adolescent housing environment was selective: (a) vicarious fear was more influenced than directly acquired fear, (b) "long-term" (24-h postconditioning) vicarious fear memories were stronger than "short-term" (15-min postconditioning) memories in socially reared mice whereas the opposite was true for isolate mice, and

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 15 2016



  • Behavior
  • Conditioning
  • Emotion
  • Empathy
  • Rodent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this