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Behav Neurosci. 2003 Feb;117(1):21-31.

Social transmission of food preference in mice: methodology and application to galanin-overexpressing transgenic mice.

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  • 1Section on Behavioral Genomics, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1375, USA.


Social transmission of food preference (STFP) is a test of olfactory memory that can be used in mice. Confounds in STFP that can lead to misinterpretation of an STFP deficit as a memory impairment include changes in social interaction and olfaction. The issue of changes in social interaction was addressed by evaluating an observer-centric and a demonstrator-centric method for scoring the interaction phase of STFP in mice. The demonstrator-centric method was applied to a line of STFP-impaired, galanin-overexpressing transgenic (GAL-tg). GAL-tg mice were impaired in STFP without deficits in social interaction. In tests of olfactory ability, GAL-tg mice were unimpaired on buried-food and habituation-dishabituation tasks. The current studies describe an expanded method for using STFP in mice and confirm a deficit in olfactory memory in GAL-tg mice.

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