Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


The effects of early experience on callosal development and functional lateralization in pigmented BALB/c mice.

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Animals-Newborn, Arousal: ph, Corpus-Callosum: ph, Dominance-Cerebral: ph, Female, Handling-(Psychology), Laterality: ph, Male, Mice, Mice-Inbred-BALB-C, Organ-Weight: ph, Social-Environment, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

JAX Source

Behav Brain Res 1992 Sep 28;50(1-2):31-42




A proportion of animals of the BALB/c inbred mouse strain have an unusually small (sometimes absent) midsagittal area of the corpus callosum (CC). In this study, we used a large sample of both males and females (total n = 198) from a pigmented congenic BALB/c line to investigate the relations among preweaning handling, area of CC, and direction and degree of lateralization as measured by Collins' paw preference task. Twenty litters were handled daily from the day after birth until day 25 (weaning) according to Denenberg's procedure and 18 litters were left undisturbed until weaning. All animals were tested for degree and direction of paw preference in a modification of Collins' apparatus at about 60 days and measures taken on CNS structures at 100 days of age. There were no handling or sex effects on degree or direction of paw preference or on the extent of CC defects, but for animals in the normal range (CC > or = 0.7 mm2), those which had been handled had significantly smaller callosa. No significant differences were detected between right and left hemisphere weights, and these measures did not appear to be related to the behavioural measures. There was no significant correlation between CC area and degree of paw preference nor was there any relationship between total agenesis and degree of handedness. This last result is particularly interesting in light of recent evidence that ILn/J mice, all acallosal, are exclusively ambilateral.

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