When doing nociceptive behavioral assays, for example the von Frey assay or formalin-test, do you test the male and female animals at the same time in the same apparatus, or do you separate the testing of the different sexes so that male and females aren’t in the same space at the same time? I am using both male and female mice now, rather than just all males, as I used to do, since sexual dimorphism in pain phenotypes is increasingly appreciated, among other reasons.
But I’m wondering whether I should do my testing of both sexes simultaneously (both sexes on the testing apparatus at the same time), or staggered in time (so that only one sex is on the apparatus at a time). My concern is potential male-female influence (via odors or sounds). What do you think? Potential concerns are that the close proximity of the animals could influence their behavior, through sounds or smells, as is suggested from this intriguing paper from the Mogil group.