Encoding choosiness: female attraction requires prior physical contact with individual male scents in mice

Ramm SA, Cheetham SA, Hurst JL (2008)
Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 275(1644): 1727-1735.

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Abstract
Scents, detected through both the main and vomeronasal olfactory systems, play a crucial role in regulating reproductive behaviour in many mammals. In laboratory mice, female preference for airborne urinary scents from males (detected through the main olfactory system) is learnt through association with scents detected through the vomeronasal system during contact with the scent source. This may reflect a more complex assessment of individual males than that implied by laboratory mouse studies in which individual variation has largely been eliminated. To test this, we assessed female preference between male and female urine using wild house mice with natural individual genetic variation in urinary identity signals. We confirm that females exhibit a general preference for male over female urine when able to contact urine scents. However, they are only attracted to airborne urinary volatiles from individual males whose urine they have previously contacted. Even females with a natural exposure to many individuals of both sexes fail to develop generalized attraction to airborne male scents. This implies that information gained through contact with a specific male's scent is essential to stimulate attraction, providing a new perspective on the cues and olfactory pathways involved in sex recognition and mate assessment in rodents.
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Ramm SA, Cheetham SA, Hurst JL. Encoding choosiness: female attraction requires prior physical contact with individual male scents in mice. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences. 2008;275(1644):1727-1735.
Ramm, S. A., Cheetham, S. A., & Hurst, J. L. (2008). Encoding choosiness: female attraction requires prior physical contact with individual male scents in mice. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 275(1644), 1727-1735.
Ramm, S. A., Cheetham, S. A., and Hurst, J. L. (2008). Encoding choosiness: female attraction requires prior physical contact with individual male scents in mice. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 275, 1727-1735.
Ramm, S.A., Cheetham, S.A., & Hurst, J.L., 2008. Encoding choosiness: female attraction requires prior physical contact with individual male scents in mice. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 275(1644), p 1727-1735.
S.A. Ramm, S.A. Cheetham, and J.L. Hurst, “Encoding choosiness: female attraction requires prior physical contact with individual male scents in mice”, Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, vol. 275, 2008, pp. 1727-1735.
Ramm, S.A., Cheetham, S.A., Hurst, J.L.: Encoding choosiness: female attraction requires prior physical contact with individual male scents in mice. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences. 275, 1727-1735 (2008).
Ramm, Steven A., Cheetham, Sarah A., and Hurst, Jane L. “Encoding choosiness: female attraction requires prior physical contact with individual male scents in mice”. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 275.1644 (2008): 1727-1735.
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