It is natural to suppose that conducting the same tests, with the same strain of mice and the same protocols on identical equipment but in different labs will ensure similar results. A University of Alberta researcher and his team have found that assumption not to be true--fuelling the nature vs. nurture debate and shedding some light on the importance of environmental factors in experiments.
Dr. Douglas Wahlsten, from the Department of Psychology, is part of a research team that use mice who share the same genetic make-up to study the relationship among an animals genetics, environment, and behaviour.
In a recent study to determine which kinds of tests done in different laboratories--in Alberta and Oregon--give the same results--Wahlsten and the research team first taught the mice how to use a particular apparatus and then tested motor co-ordination under the influence of alcohol.
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