Patients with brain function disorders due to stroke or dementia may show inability to recognize themselves in the mirror. Although the cognitive ability to recognize mirror images has been investigated in many animal species, the animal species that can be used for experimentation and the mechanisms involved in recognition remain unclear. We investigated whether mice have the ability to recognize their mirror images. Demonstrating evidence of this in mice would be useful for researching the psychological and biological mechanisms underlying this ability. We examined whether mice preferred mirrors, whether plastic tapes on their heads increased their interest, and whether mice accustomed to mirrors learnt its physical phenomenon. Mice were significantly more interested in live stranger mice than mirrors. Mice with tape on their heads spent more time before mirrors. Becoming accustomed to mirrors did not change their behaviour. Mice accustomed to mirrors had significantly increased interest in photos of themselves over those of strangers and cage-mates. These results indicated that mice visually recognized plastic tape adherent to reflected individuals. Mice accustomed to mirrors were able to discriminate between their images, cage-mates, and stranger mice. However, it is still unknown whether mice recognize that the reflected images are of themselves.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Clinical Neurology