The Bruce effect: Representational stability and memory formation in the accessory olfactory bulb of the female mouse

Michal Yoles-Frenkel, Stephen D. Shea, Ian G. Davison, Yoram Ben-Shaul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the Bruce effect, a mated female mouse becomes resistant to the pregnancy-blocking effect of the stud. Various lines of evidence suggest that this form of behavioral imprinting results from reduced sensitivity of the female's accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) to the stud's chemosignals. However, the AOB's combinatorial code implies that diminishing responses to one individual will distort representations of other stimuli. Here, we record extracellular responses of AOB neurons in mated and unmated female mice while presenting urine stimuli from the stud and from other sources. We find that, while initial sensory responses in the AOB (within a timescale required to guide social interactions) remain stable, responses to extended stimulation (as required for eliciting the pregnancy block) display selective attenuation of stud-responsive neurons. Such temporal disassociation could allow attenuation of slow-acting endocrine processes in a stimulus-specific manner without compromising ongoing representations that guide behavior.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number111262
JournalCell Reports
Volume40
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Bruce effect
  • CP: Neuroscience
  • accessory olfactory bulb
  • behavioral imprinting
  • chemosensory processing
  • vomeronasal system

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology

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