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 journalArticle

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 - Jan 1 2000



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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Stavnezer, A. J., McDowell, C. S., Hyde, L. A., Bimonte, H. A., Balogh, S. A., Hoplight, B. J., & Denenberg, V. H. (2000). Spatial ability of XY sex-reversed female mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 112(1-2), 135-143.