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The Rapid Effects of Estrogens in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex of Female Mice and their role in Social and Object Recognition

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Title: The Rapid Effects of Estrogens in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex of Female Mice and their role in Social and Object Recognition
Author: Kachmarchuk, Oksana
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Neuroscience
Advisor: Choleris, Elena
Abstract: A critical component of social cognition is distinguishing between species conspecifics, known as social recognition (SR). SR is mediated by the interaction of several brain regions within the social brain and various neurohormones, including estradiol (E2). One brain region within the social brain that is also likely to mediate SR rapidly is the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Therefore, our first study aimed to determine if E2 in the mPFC rapidly mediates SR. In this project, female mice were infused with E2 15 minutes before taking part in a rapid social recognition paradigm. Afterwards, since the mPFC also mediates several other forms of memory, a second experiment was conducted to assess if E2 in the mPFC also has a role in rapidly mediating object recognition (OR). Results for the SR paradigm demonstrated that E2 infused into the mPFC rapidly facilitates SR, but not OR memory. Overall, this research provides novel information on the effects of estrogens within the social brain.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/26393
Date: 2021-09
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