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Margaret R. Bell, Kayla C. De Lorme, Rayson J. Figueira, Deborah A. Kashy and Cheryl L. Sisk Adolescent gain in positive valence of a socially relevant stimulus: engagement of the mesocorticolimbic reward circuitry European Journal of Neuroscience 37

Article first published online: 22 NOV 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/ejn.12058

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Adolescence is a time of major behavioral change, and responses to social cues must mature to promote adult-like behaviors. Juvenile hamsters do not show sexual behavior with a receptive female. Here, we show that sexually-naïve adult male hamsters find female pheromones rewarding, but juvenile hamsters do not. Moreover, neural activation of the mesocorticolimbic pathway in response to female pheromones, as indicated by Fos-immunoreactivity, is immature in juvenile male hamsters.

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