Social interaction is necessary for discrimination between and memory for odours of close relatives in golden hamsters

Citation
J. Todrank et al., Social interaction is necessary for discrimination between and memory for odours of close relatives in golden hamsters, ETHOLOGY, 105(9), 1999, pp. 771-782
Citations number
18
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
105
Issue
9
Year of publication
1999
Pages
771 - 782
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(199909)105:9<771:SIINFD>2.0.ZU;2-G
Abstract
The role of social experience in recognition of individuals and their odour s is not well understood. In a previous study, hamsters discriminated betwe en the odours of their familiar litter mates, but they did not discriminate between the odours of two males or two females from a different litter tha t were unfamiliar to them. In this paper the role of social experience in d iscrimination between odours of male litter mates is examined using habitua tion techniques. Males, tested 1.5 - 2 mo after separation from their litte r mates, discriminated between the flank gland odours of their foster broth ers, but they did not discriminate between flank odours from their unfamili ar brothers that had been reared by another mother (Expt. 1). In Expt. 2, a dult males did not discriminate between the flank gland odours of two males from a different litter after a week of exposure across a barrier to their sights, sounds, and odours, but subjects did discriminate between the odou rs of these same males after five brief encounters with them. A month after the encounters, however, subjects no longer discriminated between these od ours. In contrast, adult males discriminated between the flank odours of th eir brothers 9 mo after separation from them (Expt. 3). These results sugge st that hamsters must have direct interactions with closely related individ uals to discriminate between their odours because the odours of close kin a re so similar. Experience with nest mates results in long-lasting memories for their odours.