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Deficits in social interaction are important early markers for autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders with strong genetic components. Standardized behavioral assays that measure the preference of mice for initiating social interactions with novel conspecifics would be of great value for mutant mouse models of autism. We developed a new procedure to(More)
Three defining clinical symptoms of autism are aberrant reciprocal social interactions, deficits in social communication, and repetitive behaviors, including motor stereotypies and insistence on sameness. We developed a set of behavioral tasks designed to model components of these core symptoms in mice. Male mice from 10 inbred strains were characterized in(More)
Core symptoms of autism include deficits in social interaction, impaired communication, and restricted, repetitive behaviors. The repetitive behavior domain encompasses abnormal motoric stereotypy, an inflexible insistence on sameness, and resistance to change. In recent years, many genetic mouse models of autism and related disorders have been developed,(More)
Mouse models of social dysfunction, designed to investigate the complex genetics of social behaviors, require an objective methodology for scoring social interactions relevant to human disease symptoms. Here we describe an automated, three chambered apparatus designed to monitor social interaction in the mouse. Time spent in each chamber and the number of(More)
Oxytocin mediates social affiliation behaviors and social memory in rodents. It has been suggested that disruptions in oxytocin contribute to the deficits in reciprocal social interactions that characterize autism. The present experiments employed a new social approach task for mice which is designed to detect low levels of sociability, representing the(More)
Restricted repetitive behaviors are core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The range of symptoms encompassed by the repetitive behavior domain includes lower-order stereotypy and self-injury, and higher-order indices of circumscribed interests and cognitive rigidity. Heterogeneity in clinical ASD profiles suggests that specific manifestations of(More)
Behaviors are often highly heritable, polygenic traits. To investigate molecular mediators of behavior, we analyzed gene expression patterns across seven brain regions (amygdala, basal ganglia, cerebellum, frontal cortex, hippocampus, cingulate cortex, and olfactory bulb) of 10 different inbred mouse strains (129S1/SvImJ, A/J, AKR/J, BALB/cByJ, BTBR T+(More)
Profound impairment in social interaction is a core symptom of autism, a severe neurodevelopmental disorder. Deficits can include a lack of interest in social contact and low levels of approach and proximity to other children. In this study, a three-chambered choice task was used to evaluate sociability and social novelty preference in five lines of mice(More)
Autism is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder, which typically emerges early in childhood. The core symptoms of autism include deficits in social interaction, impaired communication, and aberrant repetitive behavior, including self-injury. Despite the strong genetic component for the disease, most cases of autism have not been linked to mutations in a(More)