A cornucopia for mice

26 07 2017

20170723_124406This is what Lindsey and Kelsy have been feeding mice this past week:

thyme, turmeric, parsley, anise, marjoram, clove, cumin, ginger, coriander, mint, oregano, sage, onion, garlic, nutmeg, basil, mustard, cocoa, cinnamon, and rosemary.

But why? Sensory enrichment? Nope: to create some mice who regularly smell of novel food which is then made available to their cagemates (who then eat it, helped by social learning), and other mice who merely smell of novel food (but no-one else gets a taste).

Lindsey’s doing this to try and find out whether the former mice, the ‘reliable demonstrators’, end up being preferred because they become associated with treats. If yes, then social learning might be helping to create social relationships within mouse colonies.