Sex differences in variability across timescales in BALB/c mice
Females are markedly underinvestigated in the biological and behavioral sciences due to the presumption that cyclic hormonal changes across the ovulatory cycle introduce excess variability to measures of interest in comparison to males. However, recent analyses indicate that male and female mice and rats exhibit comparable variability across numerous physiological and behavioral measures, even when the stage of the estrous cycle is not considered. Hormonal changes across the ovulatory cycle likely contribute cyclic, intra-individual variability in females, but the source(s) of male variability has, to our knowledge, not been investigated. It is unclear whether male variability, like that of females, is temporally structured and, therefore, quantifiable and predictable. Finally, whether males and females exhibit variability on similar time scales has not been explored.