Spatial ability of XY sex-reversed female mice

Amy Jo Stavnezer, Cary S. McDowell, Lynn A. Hyde, Heather A. Bimonte, Seth A. Balogh, Blair J. Hoplight, Victor H. Denenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Perinatal gonadal hormones significantly affect subsequent sex differences in reproductive and non-reproductive behaviors in rodents. However, the influence of the sex chromosomes on these behaviors has been largely ignored. To assess the influence of the non-pseudoautosomal region of the Y chromosome, C57BL/JEi male and female mice and mice from the C57BL/6JEi-YPOS consomic strain were given behavioral tests known to distinguish males from females. The C57BL/6JEi-YPOStrain contains sex-reversed XY-females which, when compared to their XX-female siblings, allow assessment of the influence of the Y chromosome in a female phenotype. XX-females and XY-females did not differ on open-field activity, the Lashley maze, or active avoidance learning, but XY-females were significantly better than XX-females on the Morris hidden platform spatial maze. These findings suggest that males may have both a genetic and a hormonal mechanism to ensure visuospatial superiority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Estrogen
  • Morris maze
  • Sex difference
  • Sex reversal
  • Spatial ability
  • Testosterone
  • Y chromosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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