Data from: Pair bonding prevents reinforcing effects of testosterone in male California mice in an unfamiliar environment
Zhao, Xin; Marler, Catherine A. (2014), Data from: Pair bonding prevents reinforcing effects of testosterone in male California mice in an unfamiliar environment, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.qd1g6
Testosterone (T) can be released by stimuli such as social interactions, and thereby influence future social behaviours. Because the reinforcing effects of T can induce preferences for specific environmental locations, T has the potential to alter behaviour through space use. In a monogamous species, this T pulse may contribute differently to space use in sexually naive (SN) and pair-bonded (PB) males: SN males may be more likely to explore new areas to set up a territory than PB males, which are more likely to defend an existing, established territory. In this study, we test for variation in T-driven space use by examining variation in the formation of conditioned place preferences (CPPs) in SN and PB male California mice. In the three-chambered CPP apparatus, subcutaneous administrations of physiological levels of T were used to repeatedly condition SN and PB males to a side chamber, which is an unfamiliar/neutral environment. The final tests revealed that T-induced CPPs in the side chamber are developed in SN, but not PB males. This study fills a gap in our knowledge about plasticity in the rewarding nature of T pulses, based on past social experience.