Selective improvement of strain-dependent performances of cognitive tasks by food restriction

Cristina Orsini, Francesca Buchini, David Conversi, Simona Cabib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Temporary food restriction affects strain differences for behavioral phenotypes in the inbred strains of mice C57BL/6 (C57) and DBA/2 (DBA). Since food restriction is a routine procedure to motivate learning, we evaluated its influence on differences for spatial and non-spatial discrimination between these strains of mice by using two non-associative tasks: the Spatial Novelty Test (SNT) and the Spontaneous Object Recognition Test (SORT). The results confirmed the poor performance of the DBA mice in SNT. Nonetheless, DBA mice were perfectly able to recognize the novel object in SORT. By contrast, C57 mice were good performers in SNT but failed to recognize a novel object in SORT. Finally, food restriction selectively improved C57 performance in SNT and DBA performance in SORT. These results support the view that a food restricting procedure enhances strain differences for discrimination of configurational information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-99
Number of pages4
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • C57BL/6
  • DBA/2
  • Food restriction
  • Novelty
  • Object discrimination
  • Spatial discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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