Timing of presentation and nature of stimuli determine retroactive interference with social recognition memory in mice

Physiol Behav. 2015 May 1;143:10-4. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.02.029. Epub 2015 Feb 20.


The present study was designed to further investigate the nature of stimuli and the timing of their presentation, which can induce retroactive interference with social recognition memory in mice. In accordance with our previous observations, confrontation with an unfamiliar conspecific juvenile 3h and 6h, but not 22 h, after the initial learning session resulted in retroactive interference. The same effect was observed with the exposure to both enantiomers of the monomolecular odour carvone, and with a novel object. Exposure to a loud tone (12 KHz, 90 dB) caused retroactive interference at 6h, but not 3h and 22 h, after sampling. Our data show that retroactive interference of social recognition memory can be induced by exposing the experimental subjects to the defined stimuli presented <22 h after learning in their home cage. The distinct interference triggered by the tone presentation at 6h after sampling may be linked to the intrinsic aversiveness of the loud tone and suggests that at this time point memory consolidation is particularly sensitive to stress.

Keywords: Male; Mice; Olfaction; Retroactive interference; Social long-term recognition memory.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Learning / physiology
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Physical Stimulation*
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Time Factors