Behavior Genetics

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 220–232

Developmental Shifts in the Behavioral Phenotypes of Inbred Mice: The Role of Postnatal and Juvenile Social Experiences


  • J. P. Curley
    • Department of PsychologyColumbia University
  • V. Rock
    • Sub-Department of Animal BehaviourUniversity of Cambridge
    • Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Lincoln
  • A. M. Moynihan
    • Institute of Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of Edinburgh
  • P. Bateson
    • Sub-Department of Animal BehaviourUniversity of Cambridge
  • E. B. Keverne
    • Sub-Department of Animal BehaviourUniversity of Cambridge
    • Department of PsychologyColumbia University
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s10519-010-9334-4

Cite this article as:
Curley, J.P., Rock, V., Moynihan, A.M. et al. Behav Genet (2010) 40: 220. doi:10.1007/s10519-010-9334-4


The interaction between genotype and environment is an important feature of the process of development. We investigate this interaction by examining the influence of postnatal cross-fostering and post-weaning cross-housing on the behavioral development of 129S and B6 mice. Following cross-fostering, we found significant alterations in the frequency of maternal care as a function of maternal strain and pup type as well as interactions between these variables. In adulthood, we find there are sex-specific and strain-specific alterations in anxiety-like behavior as a function of rearing environment, with males exhibiting more pronounced rearing-induced effects. Mixed-strain housing of weanlings was found to lead to alterations in home-cage social and feeding behavior as well as changes in adult anxiety-like responses of 129S mice. Anxiety-like behavior in B6 mice was altered as a function of the interaction between housing condition and weaning weight. These data illustrate the complex pathways through which early and later social experiences may lead to variations in behavior.


Cross-fosteringMaternalStrain differencesJuvenileSocial behaviorCross-housing

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010