Featured Paper of the Month – August 2023
Mouse models of social behavior fail to account for volitional aspects of social interaction, and current neurobiological investigation of social behavior is performed almost exclusively using C57BL/6J mice, the background strain of most transgenic mice. In this study, we introduced a mouse model of operant social self-administration and choice, using a custom-made apparatus. Using a battery of behavioral tests, we demonstrated that female CD1 mice find social interaction more rewarding compared to female C57BL/6J mice. Our data show that CD1 mice are a better strain for studying female social reward learning. Our mouse operant social model provides a tool for research on neurobiological substrates of female social reward and disruption of social reward in psychiatric disorders using mouse-specific genetic tools.