6-Hydroxydopamine lesions in female hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) abolish the sensitized effects of sexual experience on copulatory interactions with males

Katherine C. Bradley, Alma R. Haas, Robert L. Meisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the effects of sexual experience in female hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) on copulatory interactions with male hamsters. Female sexual experience improved the copulatory efficiency of sexually naive males, an effect that persisted for at least 6 weeks without further sexual behavior testing. In a 2nd study, dopamine lesions made in the region of the nucleus accumbens prior to sexual experience specifically blocked the effects of the female's sexual experience on the hit rate of naive males. These results suggest that sexual experience in female hamsters increases the efficiency of copulatory interactions with males, that these effects persist in the absence of further sexual experience, and that dopamine neurotransmission in the basal forebrain underlies this effect of sexual experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-232
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume119
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2005

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