Social reward among juvenile mice

J. B. Panksepp, Garet Lahvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mammalian social relationships, such as mother-offspring attachments and pair bonds, can directly affect reproductive output. However, conspecifics approach one another in a comparatively broad range of contexts, so conceivably there are motivations for social congregation other than those underlying reproduction, parental care or territoriality. Here, we show that reward mediated by social contact is a fundamental aspect of juvenile mouse sociality. Employing a novel social conditioned place preference (SCPP) procedure, we demonstrate that social proximity is rewarding for juvenile mice from three inbred strains (A/J, C57BL/6J and DBA/2J), while mice from a fourth strain (BALB/cJ) are much less responsive to social contact. Importantly, this strain-dependent difference was not related to phenotypic variability in exploratory behavior or contextual learning nor influenced by the genetic background associated with maternal care or social conditioning. Furthermore, the SCPP phenotype was expressed early in development (postnatal day 25) and did not require a specific sex composition within the conditioning group. Finally, SCPP responses resulted from an interaction between two specifiable processes: one component of the interaction facilitated approach toward environments that were associated with social salience, whereas a second component mediated avoidance of environmental cues that predicted social isolation. We have thus identified a genetically prescribed process that can attribute value onto conditions predicting a general form of social contact. To our knowledge, this is the first definitive evidence to show that genetic variation can influence a form of social valuation not directly related to a reproductive behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-671
Number of pages11
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Volume6
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Reward
Territoriality
Pair Bond
Mothers
Reproductive Behavior
Social Isolation
Inbred Strains Mice
Exploratory Behavior
Cues
Reproduction
Motivation
Learning
Phenotype
Conditioning (Psychology)
Genetic Background

Keywords

  • Altruism
  • Co-operation
  • Emotion
  • Mouse genetics
  • Mus musculus
  • Sociability
  • Social approach
  • Social behavior
  • Sociality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Genetics

Cite this

Social reward among juvenile mice. / Panksepp, J. B.; Lahvis, Garet.

In: Genes, Brain and Behavior, Vol. 6, No. 7, 10.2007, p. 661-671.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Panksepp, J. B. ; Lahvis, Garet. / Social reward among juvenile mice. In: Genes, Brain and Behavior. 2007 ; Vol. 6, No. 7. pp. 661-671.
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