And Father-of-The-Year Award goes to. . . .
This is a time-lapse video of a first time father CBA mouse exhibiting paternal behaviors towards his own pups. This experiment took place in the original breeding cage in the absence of the mother.
One of the most important objectives in neuroscience is to establish the neural basis of behavior. In our lab, we are particularly interested in cortical circuits responsible for processing animal communication. Two key components of this behavior are production and interpretation of conspecific vocalizations. To establish a behavioral model of these tasks we studied the paternal behavior of male mice. These male rodents are known to produce songs during courtship, but their comprehension of conspecific vocalizations is not clear. Mouse pups are born with the innate ability to produce ultrasonic vocalizations that trigger parental behaviors from their mother. In this project, we will test the ability of male mice to interpret isolation calls from their own pups. This exploratory study will reveal whether we can use male paternal behavioral as a model to link neural circuits with an ethologically relevant behavior.