Thirteen laboratory mice and nine mid mice of the species Mus musculus were used to determine the effects of domestication on neophobic reaction. The neophobic situation was the insertion of a small plastic horse in the S’s home cage for a period of 5 min. Five such tests were conducted over a two-month period. The wild mice were found to be more hesitant in their first approach and also made contact with the novel object less often than did the laboratory mice. These results suggest that the strength of the neophobic reaction has been reduced in the behavioral repertoire of the laboratory mouse.
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1. This research was conducted under the auspices of the Undergraduate Research Committee at Miami University.
2. We would like to acknowledge the helpful assistance of Dr. Bruce K. Alexander and Dr. Patrick J. Capretta.