Science.gov

Sample records for ethology

  1. Homology, Analogy, and Ethology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beer, Colin G.

    1984-01-01

    Because the main criterion of structural homology (the principle of connections) does not exist for behavioral homology, the utility of the ethological concept of homology has been questioned. The confidence with which behavioral homologies can be claimed varies inversely with taxonomic distance. Thus, conjectures about long-range phylogenetic…

  2. Ethology and animal welfare.

    PubMed

    Osterhoff, D R

    1981-12-01

    Much scientific information concerning animal behaviour has become available only recently and it continues to increase rapidly. There is evidence indicating that the behavioural needs of animals have sometimes been neglected when natural life-style are replaced by artificially contrived ones. More attention to and study of animals' social and other behavioural requirements would be mutually beneficial to both man and beast. If those needs can be met more adequately, animals will be easier to handle, stress will be reduced and productivity improved. Animal welfare legislation in different countries is mentioned and ethological research as basis for new legislation discussed. The development in this critical field of Ethology and Animal Welfare is advancing fast and the South African Veterinarian must be aware of the new movement from Animal Science to Animal Rights. PMID:7341784

  3. Human Ethology, Education, and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stenhouse, David

    1977-01-01

    The author examines three phenomena--the inconclusiveness about the nature of intelligence and how to deal with it, the supplanting of learning theory by behavior modification, and the rise of human technology--and argues that a confluence of ethological theory applied in the human context may provide a coherent theoretical picture of…

  4. ISAE- The International Society for Applied Ethology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) was created in 1966 as the Society for Veterinary Ethology, with a primary membership of U.K.-based veterinarians. It quickly expanded to encompass researchers and clinicians working in all areas of applied animal behavior and all over the world....

  5. [Ethological approaches concerning forensic animal welfare].

    PubMed

    Zeeb, K

    1996-11-01

    Two cases of jurisdiction lay open the practicability of ethological approaches as to answer forensical questions of animal welfare. Two concepts were presented: The concept of satisfaction of requirements and a new concept for the assessment of feelings. PMID:9081822

  6. Ethological Approach to Delayed Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahoney, Gerald J.

    1975-01-01

    The ethological approach to language acquisition (which focuses on the nature of the child's interaction with the environment) is described, and implications for the language development of mentally retarded and autistic children are discussed. (CL)

  7. The overlapping territories of psychiatry and ethology.

    PubMed

    Kramer, D A; McKinney, W T

    1979-01-01

    There have been numerous attempts since 1965 to stimulate more utilization of ethological methods and concepts in psychiatry. This literature is reviewed and an attempt is made to identify the factors which have inhibited an enhancement of this interaction to date. Most of the previous articles on this subject have appeared in edited collections, rather than in more widely circulated psychiatric or medical journals. Some of the articles focus on ethological theory, others on ethological research findings, and several on clinical analogies between animal and human situations. Regarding the specific way in which to integrate ethological thought into psychiatry, most frequently a phylogenetic approach is emphasized, however a few authors stress methodological considerations. In this paper, it is argued that artifactual differences have been the primary impediment to more interaction between these two rather similar fields. Scientific language difficulties, educational differences, and personal factors are described in this regard. Also, the real differences in approach and methodology, relative interest in normal vs. abnormal behavior, the degree of willingness to accept a phylogenetic approach, and the breadth of behavior being studied by the two fields are described. Examples of current areas of applicability of ethology to psychiatry are given: the attachment systems, early infantile autism, methodology, social psychiatry, and psychiatric education. Of these, the area where the most utilized is that of the occurred and in which the findings of ethology have been the most utilized is that of the attachment systems. Clinically applicable studies based upon the premise that attachment systems exist as understood ethologically are reviewed. These include study of extra physical contact between mothers and infants at birth, the prediction of child abuse and neglect utilizing observations from the immediate postpartum period, the treatment of failure to thrive by

  8. An Introduction to Ethological Approaches With Abnormal Populations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zabel, Robert H.; Zabel, Mary Kay

    The paper presents an overview of an ethological approach to the study of abnormal human behavior and a review of research using ethological approaches (with an emphasis on autism research). Ethology is defined as the study of behavior as it occurs in its natural habitat. The four types of questions ethologists ask about behavior, such as what is…

  9. The ethological analysis of imitation.

    PubMed

    Miklósi, A

    1999-08-01

    Theorists and experimental researchers have long debated whether animals are able to imitate. A variety of definitions of imitation have been proposed to describe this complex form of social learning. Experimental research on imitation has often been hampered by either a too loose 'anthropomorphic' approach or by too narrow 'behaviourist' definitions. At present neither associative nor cognitive theories are able to offer an exhaustive explanation of imitation in animals. An ethological approach to imitation offers a different perspective. By integrating questions on function, mechanism, development and evolution one can identify possible directions for future research. At present, however, we are still far from developing a comprehensive theory of imitation. A functional approach to imitation shows that, despite some evidence for imitative learning in food processing in apes, such learning has not been shown to be involved in the social transmission of either tool-use skills or communicative signals. Recently developed procedures offer possible ways of clarifying the role of imitation in tool use and visual communication. The role of imitation in explorative play in apes is also investigated and the available data suggest that copying during play might represent a behavioural homologue of human imitation. It is proposed that the ability to copy the behaviour of a companion is under a strong genetic influence in many social species. Many important factors have not been examined experimentally, e.g. the effect of the demonstrator, the influence of attention and memory and the ability to generalize. The potential importance of reinforcement raises the possibility that copying abilities serving divergent functions might be partly under the control of different mechanisms. PMID:10466254

  10. An Experiment in Teaching Human Ethology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnett, S. A.

    1977-01-01

    Students of ethology are often confused about the validity of arguments based on comparisons of animal and human behavior. The problem can be dealt with purely theoretically or through observational or experimental studies of human behavior. Some results of using these two methods are described and discussed. (Author/MA)

  11. Ethological Perspectives on Preschool Social Organization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strayer, F. F.; And Others

    This collection of papers represents an extension of analytic approaches and concepts from animal social ethology to the study of activities among stable groups of young children. A major emphasis of this research was on the description of organizational patterns in social behavior observed during periods of free play. The papers are: (1) "An…

  12. Virtual ethology of aquatic animal heterogeneous behaviours

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, ChenKim; Tan, KianLam

    2016-08-01

    In the virtual world, the simulation of flocking behaviour has been actively investigated since the 1980 through the boid models. However, ethology is a niche study of animal behaviour from the biological perspective that is rarely instil in the interest of the younger learners nowadays. The keystone of the research is to be able to disseminate the study of animal behaviours through the boid model with the aid of technology. Through the simulation, complex movement of animal behaviours are reproduced based on the extension of basic behaviours of boid algorithm. The techniques here are to (i) Analyse a high-level behavioural framework of motion in the animal behaviours and (ii) Evolves particles to other animal representations to portray more real-time examples of steering behaviours. Although the generality of the results is limited by the number of case study, it also supports the hypothesis that interactive simulation system of virtual ethology can aid the improvement of animal studies.

  13. The Development of Early Social Interaction--An Ethological Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Omark, Donald R.; Edelman, Murray S.

    The ethological approach may become an important methodology in the developmental studies of children. The ethological approach takes into consideration the total world of the child, social and cognitive, when the child's development in that world is analyzed. Information can be obtained both from studies of other primates (for example, the study…

  14. Affect induction through musical sounds: an ethological perspective.

    PubMed

    Huron, David

    2015-03-19

    How does music induce or evoke feeling states in listeners? A number of mechanisms have been proposed for how sounds induce emotions, including innate auditory responses, learned associations and mirror neuron processes. Inspired by ethology, it is suggested that the ethological concepts of signals, cues and indices offer additional analytic tools for better understanding induced affect. It is proposed that ethological concepts help explain why music is able to induce only certain emotions, why some induced emotions are similar to the displayed emotion (whereas other induced emotions differ considerably from the displayed emotion), why listeners often report feeling mixed emotions and why only some musical expressions evoke similar responses across cultures. PMID:25646521

  15. Affect induction through musical sounds: an ethological perspective

    PubMed Central

    Huron, David

    2015-01-01

    How does music induce or evoke feeling states in listeners? A number of mechanisms have been proposed for how sounds induce emotions, including innate auditory responses, learned associations and mirror neuron processes. Inspired by ethology, it is suggested that the ethological concepts of signals, cues and indices offer additional analytic tools for better understanding induced affect. It is proposed that ethological concepts help explain why music is able to induce only certain emotions, why some induced emotions are similar to the displayed emotion (whereas other induced emotions differ considerably from the displayed emotion), why listeners often report feeling mixed emotions and why only some musical expressions evoke similar responses across cultures. PMID:25646521

  16. Labels, cognomes, and cyclic computation: an ethological perspective

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Elliot

    2015-01-01

    For the past two decades, it has widely been assumed by linguists that there is a single computational operation, Merge, which is unique to language, distinguishing it from other cognitive domains. The intention of this paper is to progress the discussion of language evolution in two ways: (i) survey what the ethological record reveals about the uniqueness of the human computational system, and (ii) explore how syntactic theories account for what ethology may determine to be human-specific. It is shown that the operation Label, not Merge, constitutes the evolutionary novelty which distinguishes human language from non-human computational systems; a proposal lending weight to a Weak Continuity Hypothesis and leading to the formation of what is termed Computational Ethology. Some directions for future ethological research are suggested. PMID:26089809

  17. An Interdisciplinary Approach to Dinosaur Fossils, Morphology, Ethology, and Energetics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipko, Stephen J.

    1981-01-01

    Describes an interdisciplinary minicourse on dinosaur fossils, morphology, ethology, and energetics. Suggests and provides examples of hands-on activities for junior high school- through college-level students. (DS)

  18. Qualitative Research Methods in Special Education: Ethnography, Microethnography, and Ethology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Carola; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Three qualitative research methodologies (ethnography, microethnography, and ethology) are contrasted according to their disciplinary origins, methods for data collection and analysis, and use of audiovisual technology. Studies that exemplify the special education applications of these methodologies are summarized. (Author)

  19. Labels, cognomes, and cyclic computation: an ethological perspective.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Elliot

    2015-01-01

    For the past two decades, it has widely been assumed by linguists that there is a single computational operation, Merge, which is unique to language, distinguishing it from other cognitive domains. The intention of this paper is to progress the discussion of language evolution in two ways: (i) survey what the ethological record reveals about the uniqueness of the human computational system, and (ii) explore how syntactic theories account for what ethology may determine to be human-specific. It is shown that the operation Label, not Merge, constitutes the evolutionary novelty which distinguishes human language from non-human computational systems; a proposal lending weight to a Weak Continuity Hypothesis and leading to the formation of what is termed Computational Ethology. Some directions for future ethological research are suggested. PMID:26089809

  20. Ethology and the origins of behavioral endocrinology.

    PubMed

    Marler, Peter

    2005-04-01

    The neurosciences embrace many disciplines, some long established, others of more recent origin. Behavioral endocrinology has only recently been fully acknowledged as a branch of neuroscience, distinctive for the determination of some of its exponents to remain integrative in the face of the many pressures towards reductionism that so dominate modern biology. One of its most characteristic features is a commitment to research at the whole-animal level on the physiological basis of complex behaviors, with a particular but by no means exclusive focus on reproductive behavior in all its aspects. The search for rigorously defined principles of behavioral organization that apply across species and the hormonal and neural mechanisms that sustain them underlies much of the research. Their aims are much like those put forth in the classical ethology of Lorenz and Tinbergen, one of the roots from which behavioral endocrinology has sprung. But there are others that can be traced back a century or more. Antecedents can be found in the work of such pioneers as Jakob von Uexküll, Jacques Loeb, Herbert Spencer Jennings, and particularly Charles Otis Whitman who launched a tradition that culminated in the classical contributions of Robert Hinde and Daniel Lehrman. William C. Young was another pioneer. His studies revolutionized thinking about the physiological mechanisms by which hormones influence behavior. An earlier potent influence was Karl Lashley who helped to shape the career of Frank Ambrose Beach who, more than anyone, has played a leading role in launching this new field. PMID:15777816

  1. A New Curriculum for Ethology and Student Skills in the Netherlands.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jansen, Bram J.; Dijkstra, Maurits J.; Bloem, Alex

    1997-01-01

    Describes the new national biology curriculum in the Netherlands, including a modern branch of biology called ethology. Topics covered include General Objectives, Lessons on Ethology and Student Skills, Role of Ethological Theory in Lessons, Emphasis on Human Behavior, Student Skills to be Developed, and items to be included in lessons such as…

  2. Modes and origins of mechanical and ethological isolation in angiosperms.

    PubMed Central

    Grant, V

    1994-01-01

    Mechanical and ethological isolation between species is widespread in angiosperms with specialized animal-pollinated flowers, being recorded in 29 species groups belonging to 27 genera and 16 families. Mechanical isolation occurs in two forms. (i) The common type, designated the Salvia type, operates when two or more species of flowers are adapted for different groups of pollinators with different body sizes and shapes. (ii) In the Pedicularis type two flower species have the same species of pollinator but pick up pollen from different parts of the pollinator's body. Four forms of ethological isolation are recognized. (i) In the Aquilegia type, which is widespread, ethological isolation is a side effect of mechanical isolation. (ii) The flower-constancy type, as the name suggests, is based on flower-constant foraging behavior. (iii) In the Ophrys type, floral scents attract male bees or wasps and play a role in their mating behavior; different species of flowers, often orchids, have different scents and attract different sets of hymenopteran species. (iv) The monotropy type occurs in plants pollinated by hymenopterans with species-specific or group-specific flower preferences for nutritive purposes (monotropic and oligotropic bees and fig wasps). Three modes of origin of floral isolation are confirmed by evidence: (i) mechanical and ethological isolation arising as a by-product of allopatric speciation, (ii) ethological isolation developing by selection for reproductive isolation per se, and (iii) mechanical isolation arising as a by-product of character displacement. Mode of origin i accounts for the Salvia and Aquilegia types of isolation in nine known species groups and for the Ophrys type in one group. Mode of origin ii accounts for the flower-constancy type of ethological isolation in two species groups. Mode of origin iii explains mechanical isolation in two groups. Sympatric origin of floral isolation by hybrid speciation and by flower constancy has been

  3. Ethological concepts enhance the translational value of animal models.

    PubMed

    Peters, Suzanne M; Pothuizen, Helen H J; Spruijt, Berry M

    2015-07-15

    The translational value of animal models is an issue of ongoing discussion. We argue that 'Refinement' of animal experiments is needed and this can be achieved by exploiting an ethological approach when setting up and conducting experiments. Ethology aims to assess the functional meaning of behavioral changes, due to experimental manipulation or treatment, in animal models. Although the use of ethological concepts is particularly important for studies involving the measurement of animal behavior (as is the case for most studies on neuro-psychiatric conditions), it will also substantially benefit other disciplines, such as those investigating the immune system or inflammatory response. Using an ethological approach also involves using more optimal testing conditions are employed that have a biological relevance to the animal. Moreover, using a more biological relevant analysis of the data will help to clarify the functional meaning of the modeled readout (e.g. whether it is psychopathological or adaptive in nature). We advocate for instance that more behavioral studies should use animals in group-housed conditions, including the recording of their ultrasonic vocalizations, because (1) social behavior is an essential feature of animal models for human 'social' psychopathologies, such as autism and schizophrenia, and (2) social conditions are indispensable conditions for appropriate behavioral studies in social species, such as the rat. Only when taking these elements into account, the validity of animal experiments and, thus, the translation value of animal models can be enhanced. PMID:25823814

  4. Annotated Bibliography on Ethology in Education. Ecological Theory of Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Kevin; Frey, Susan

    This annotated bibliography focuses on the ethological study of child development and the educational process. Topics covered include: (1) evolution; (2) dominance hierarchies and social organization; (3) agonistic, affiliative, and epistemic behaviors; (4) nonverbal communication; (5) play; (6) biological constraints on learning; and (7) relevant…

  5. Mundane Knowledge Management and Microlevel Organizational Learning: An Ethological Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davenport, Elisabeth

    2002-01-01

    Discusses knowledge management in the context of articulation work, that is routine interactions in groups of local practice. Explores the concepts of mundane knowledge management and organizational ethology in a case study of a project to promote virtual enterprise formation based on online cooperative work. (Contains 50 references.) (Author/LRW)

  6. Ethological research in clinical psychiatry: the study of nonverbal behavior during interviews.

    PubMed

    Troisi, A

    1999-11-01

    Ethology is relevant to clinical psychiatry for two different reasons. First, ethology may contribute significantly to the development of more accurate and valid methods for measuring the behavior of persons with mental disorders. Second, ethology, as the evolutionary study of behavior, may provide psychiatry with a theoretical framework for integrating a functional perspective into the definition and clinical assessment of mental disorders. This article describes an ethological method for studying the nonverbal behavior of persons with mental disorders during clinical interviews and reviews the results derived from the application of this method in studies of patients who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia or depression. These findings and others that are emerging from current ethological research in psychiatry indicate that the ethological approach is not limited simply to a mere translation into quantitative and objective data of what clinicians already know on the basis of their judgment or the use of rating scales. Rather, it produces new insights on controversial aspects of psychiatric disorders. Although the impact of ethology on clinical psychiatry is still limited, recent developments in the fields of ethological and Darwinian psychiatry can revitalize the interest of clinical psychiatrists for ethology. PMID:10580305

  7. The Quantitative Ethology of the Zebra Finch: A Study in Comparative Psychometrics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Figueredo, Aurelio Jose; And Others

    1992-01-01

    A quantitative ethogram was developed for the zebra finch, using one-zero focal animal sampling on an ethologically comprehensive checklist of 52 behavioral items, and it was assessed for interobserver reliability and construct validity. Applying the quantitative methods of psychometrics allows verification of ethological theory and testing of…

  8. Intersection of effort and risk: ethological and neurobiological perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Mike A.; Thomé, Alexander; Cowen, Stephen L.

    2013-01-01

    The physical effort required to seek out and extract a resource is an important consideration for a foraging animal. A second consideration is the variability or risk associated with resource delivery. An intriguing observation from ethological studies is that animals shift their preference from stable to variable food sources under conditions of increased physical effort or falling energetic reserves. Although theoretical models for this effect exist, no exploration into its biological basis has been pursued. Recent advances in understanding the neural basis of effort- and risk-guided decision making suggest that opportunities exist for determining how effort influences risk preference. In this review, we describe the intersection between the neural systems involved in effort- and risk-guided decision making and outline two mechanisms by which effort-induced changes in dopamine release may increase the preference for variable rewards. PMID:24223535

  9. Ethological, psychological and legal aspects of animal sexual abuse.

    PubMed

    Hvozdík, Anton; Bugarský, Andrej; Kottferová, Jana; Vargová, Milada; Ondrasovicová, Ol'ga; Ondrasovic, Miloslav; Sasáková, Nad'a

    2006-09-01

    This report presents an analysis of sexual abuse of five three-month old calves that died as a result of injury. A subsequent police investigation concluded that the animals had been sexually abused by an individual affected with zoophilia. The calves received injuries in the anogenital region resulting in fatal internal bleeding. The wounds appeared to have been caused by inserting and manipulating an unknown object into the vaginas of the animals. Post-mortem examination showed rupture of both the rectum and vagina in each calf with massive haemorrhage into the abdominal and thoracic cavities. From the psychiatric and animal welfare viewpoints animal sexual abuse is linked to clinical veterinary ethology. Ethical and legal aspects of animal welfare are evaluated with particular regard to the cases described. PMID:16019241

  10. The prehistory of handedness: archaeological data and comparative ethology.

    PubMed

    Uomini, Natalie T

    2009-10-01

    Homo sapiens sapiens displays a species wide lateralised hand preference, with 85% of individuals in all populations being right-handed for most manual actions. In contrast, no other great ape species shows such strong and consistent population level biases, indicating that extremes of both direction and strength of manual laterality (i.e., species-wide right-handedness) may have emerged after divergence from the last common ancestor. To reconstruct the hand use patterns of early hominins, laterality is assessed in prehistoric artefacts. Group right side biases are well established from the Neanderthals onward, while patchy evidence from older fossils and artefacts indicates a preponderance of right-handed individuals. Individual hand preferences and group level biases can occur in chimpanzees and other apes for skilled tool use and food processing. Comparing these findings with human ethological data on spontaneous hand use reveals that the great ape clade (including humans) probably has a common effect at the individual level, such that a person can vary from ambidextrous to completely lateralised depending on the action. However, there is currently no theoretical model to explain this result. The degree of task complexity and bimanual complementarity have been proposed as factors affecting lateralisation strength. When primatology meets palaeoanthropology, the evidence suggests species-level right-handedness may have emerged through the social transmission of increasingly complex, bimanually differentiated, tool using activities. PMID:19758680

  11. Using a Newton Personal Data Assistant To Assess Student Participation in Biology Laboratories--A Technique Borrowed from Ethology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russell, Connie P.; French, Donald P.

    2001-01-01

    Describes the use of ethological observation methods in a study of student behavior for use in student or course assessment. Describes how a convenient, highly portable recording system designed for ethological observation can be used in educational settings. (Contains 12 references.) (ASK)

  12. Visual behaviours of neurologically impaired children with cerebral visual impairment: an ethological study

    PubMed Central

    Porro, G; Dekker, E; Van Nieuwenhuizen, O; Wittebol-Post, D; Schilder, M; Schenk-Rootlieb, A; Treffers, W

    1998-01-01

    BACKGROUND/AIMS—Visual functions of neurologically impaired children with permanent cerebral visual impairment (CVI) can be difficult to determine. This study investigated the behavioural profile of CVI children by means of ethological observations in order to gain a better understanding of their visual functions.
METHODS—Video registrations of nine subjects who were unable to undergo more orthodox methods of visual function testing were observed and analysed by an ethologist.
RESULTS—A series of behaviours (direct signs) and supportive or confirming behavioural elements (indirect signs) indicating some visual perception in the children were found.
CONCLUSION—Detailed ethological observations of visual behaviour were shown to be useful for analysing visual functions of children with permanent CVI.

 Keywords: cerebral visual impairment; visual function; visual behaviour; ethological analysis PMID:9924323

  13. Applying ethological and health indicators to practical animal welfare assessment.

    PubMed

    Wemelsfelder, F; Mullan, S

    2014-04-01

    There is a growing effort worldwide to develop objective indicators for animal welfare assessment, which provide information on an animal's quality of life, are scientifically trustworthy, and can readily be used in practice by professionals. Animals are sentient beings capable of positive and negative emotion, and so these indicators should be sensitive not only to their physical health, but also to their experience of the conditions in which they live. This paper provides an outline of ethological research aimed at developing practical welfare assessment protocols. The first section focuses on the development and validation of welfare indicators generally, in terms of their relevance to animal well-being, their interobserver reliability, and the confidence with which the prevalence of described features can be estimated. Challenges in this work include accounting for the ways in which welfare measures may fluctuate over time, and identifying measures suited to monitoring positive welfare states. The second section focuses more specifically on qualitative welfare indicators, which assess the 'whole animal' and describe the expressive qualities of its demeanour (e.g. anxious, content). Such indicators must be validated in the same way as other health and behaviour indicators, with the added challenge of finding appropriate methods of measurement. The potential contribution of qualitative indicators, however, is to disclose an emotional richness in animals that helps to interpret information provided by other indicators, thus enhancing the validity of welfare assessment protocols. In conclusion, the paper emphasises the importance of integrating such different perspectives, showing that new knowledge of animals and new ways of relating to animals are both needed for the successful development of practical welfare assessment tools. PMID:25000783

  14. Implications for adult roles from differential styles of mother-infant bonding: an ethological study.

    PubMed

    Johnson, C K; Gilbert, M D; Herdt, G H

    1979-01-01

    Ethological observations of maternal and infant behaviors of nine vervet monkey pairs (Cercopithecus aethiops sabaeus) showed the effects of differential styles of early maternal responsiveness on later infant competence. Those infants receiving the least amount of maternal responsiveness and the most time-off the mother in the first 3 months of development were more socially competent at 6 months of age. The results are discussed within current ethological "attachment" theories. The detachment or separation process of mother-infant interaction is considered as important a factor during infant development as the primary maternal bond. PMID:105083

  15. Defensive burying in rodents: ethology, neurobiology and psychopharmacology.

    PubMed

    De Boer, Sietse F; Koolhaas, Jaap M

    2003-02-28

    Defensive burying refers to the typical rodent behavior of displacing bedding material with vigorous treading-like movements of their forepaws and shoveling movements of their heads directed towards a variety of noxious stimuli that pose a near and immediate threat, such as a wall-mounted electrified shock-prod. Since its introduction 25 years ago by Pinel and Treit [J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 92 (1978) 708], defensive (shock-prod) burying has been the focus of a considerable amount of research effort delineating the methodology/ethology, psychopharmacology and neurobiology of this robust and species-specific active avoidance or coping response. The present review gives a summary of this research with special reference to the behavioral (face and construct) and pharmacological (predictive) validity of the shock-prod burying test as an animal model for human anxiety. Emphasis is also placed on some recent modifications of the paradigm that may increase its utility and reliability as to individual differences in expressed emotional coping responses and sensitivity to pharmacological treatments. Overall, the behavioral and physiological responses displayed in the shock-prod paradigm are expressions of normal and functionally adaptive coping patterns and the extremes of either active (i.e., burying) or passive (i.e., freezing) forms of responding in this test cannot simply be regarded as inappropriate, maladaptive or pathological. For this reason, the shock-prod paradigm is not an animal model for anxiety disorder or for any other psychiatric disease, but instead possesses a high degree of face and construct validity for normal and functionally adaptive human fear and anxious apprehension. However, the apparent good pharmacological validation (predictive validity) of this test reinforces the view that normal and pathological anxiety involves, at least partly, common neurobiological substrates. Therefore, this paradigm is not only suitable for screening potential

  16. Using the Method of Ethology To Study Australian Preschool Children's Play and Social Behaviour.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rolfe, Sharne A.; Crossley, Stella A.

    1997-01-01

    Evaluated the ethological approach in studying children's interactions and play in an Australian preschool. Factor analysis yielded a gender-linked factor loading on looking and playing house, a physical activity factor, and a sociability factor. Findings suggest that though time consuming and labor-intensive, this approach can provide unique…

  17. The Use of Ethological Principles in Teaching Parent-Child Relations to Elementary School Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cutler, Neal R.; And Others

    1978-01-01

    The problem of teaching the concepts of parenting to 8-12 year old students was approached through the use of ethology, a science which is both familiar and appealing to them. The course conveyed the concepts of parenting to children at a much earlier age than had been done before. (Author/NQ)

  18. Tethered versus loose sows: ethological observations and measures of productivity. I. Ethological observations during pregnancy and farrowing.

    PubMed

    Vestergaard, K; Hansen, L L

    1984-01-01

    Ethological parameters were recorded from sows housed in the same room and allocated to four experimental groups: sows that were tethered during pregnancy as well as from one week before farrowing to 8 weeks after; sows that were tethered during pregnancy but were loose during farrowing and lactation; sows that were loose during pregnancy in social groups of 2-5 animals and tethered during farrowing and lactation, and sows that were loose during pregnancy as in group 3 and also loose during farrowing and lactation. By using a timelapse-film technique it was found that pregnant sows in all groups had a similar diurnal rhythm with peaks around feeding times. The animals lay down for 20 h or more per day, and their activity was reduced due to tethering during the pregnancy period itself and due to preceding periods of tethering during farrowing and lactation. With increasing environmental temperature the loose sows increased the time spent lying on the side at the expense of lying on the belly. The tethered sows, however, showed no such change, but contrary to the loose sows they increased their activity. Observations around feeding time revealed that the tethered sows showed more aggression and fewer non aggressive social elements than the loose sows. Additionally their eating time was longer. Rubbing the neck was less and lying unquietly more frequent in tethered sows. Finally tethering during pregnancy reduced exploration directed towards straw and floor and increased stereotyped bar-biting and chain-nippling. With increasing temperature rubbing behaviour and drinking increased in tethered but not in loose sows. Timelapse-videorecording during the last 48 h prior to- and until the end of farrowing revealed that sows in all groups, no matter whether they were loose or tethered, showed a characteristical increase in nestbuilding activity until about 12-6 h before first piglet was born. Tethering in any period (pregnancy and/or farrowing-lactation) resulted in an

  19. Art as behaviour--an ethological approach to visual and verbal art, music and architecture.

    PubMed

    Sütterlin, Christa; Schiefenhövel, Wulf; Lehmann, Christian; Forster, Johanna; Apfelauer, Gerhard

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, the fine arts, architecture, music and literature have increasingly been examined from the vantage point of human ethology and evolutionary psychology. In 2011 the authors formed the research group 'Ethology of the Arts' concentrating on the evolution and biology of perception and behaviour. These novel approaches aim at a better understanding of the various facets represented by the arts by taking into focus possible phylogenetic adaptations, which have shaped the artistic capacities of our ancestors. Rather than culture specificity, which is stressed e.g. by cultural anthropology and numerous other disciplines, universal human tendencies to perceive, feel, think and behave are postulated. Artistic expressive behaviour is understood as an integral part of the human condition, whether expressed in ritual, visual, verbal or musical art. The Ethology of the Arts-group's research focuses on visual and verbal art, music and built environment/architecture and is designed to contribute to the incipient interdisciplinarity in the field of evolutionary art research. PMID:24818435

  20. Towards an Ethological Animal Model of Depression? A Study on Horses

    PubMed Central

    Fureix, Carole; Jego, Patrick; Henry, Séverine; Lansade, Léa; Hausberger, Martine

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent reviews question current animal models of depression and emphasise the need for ethological models of mood disorders based on animals living under natural conditions. Domestic horses encounter chronic stress, including potential stress at work, which can induce behavioural disorders (e.g. “apathy”). Our pioneering study evaluated the potential of domestic horses in their usual environment to become an ethological model of depression by testing this models’ face validity (i.e. behavioural similarity with descriptions of human depressive states). Methodology/Principal Findings We observed the spontaneous behaviour of 59 working horses in their home environment, focusing on immobility bouts of apparent unresponsiveness when horses displayed an atypical posture (termed withdrawn hereafter), evaluated their responsiveness to their environment and their anxiety levels, and analysed cortisol levels. Twenty-four percent of the horses presented the withdrawn posture, also characterized by gaze, head and ears fixity, a profile that suggests a spontaneous expression of “behavioural despair”. When compared with control “non-withdrawn” horses from the same stable, withdrawn horses appeared more indifferent to environmental stimuli in their home environment but reacted more emotionally in more challenging situations. They exhibited lower plasma cortisol levels. Withdrawn horses all belonged to the same breed and females were over-represented. Conclusions/Significance Horse might be a useful potential candidate for an animal model of depression. Face validity of this model appeared good, and potential genetic input and high prevalence of these disorders in females add to the convergence. At a time when current animal models of depression are questioned and the need for novel models is expressed, this study suggests that novel models and biomarkers could emerge from ethological approaches in home environments. PMID:22761752

  1. A Cognitive Ethology Study of First- and Third-Person Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Chisholm, Joseph D.; Chapman, Craig S.; Amm, Marvin; Bischof, Walter F.; Smilek, Dan; Kingstone, Alan

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to test the cognitive ethology approach, which seeks to link cognitions and behaviours as they operate in everyday life with those studied in controlled lab-based investigations. Our test bed was the understanding of first-person and third-person perspectives, which in lab-based investigations have been defined in a diverse and multi-faceted manner. We hypothesized that because these lab-based investigations seek to connect with how first- and third-person perspective operates in everyday life, then either some of the divergent lab-based definitions are missing their mark or the everyday conceptualization of first- and third-person perspective is multi-faceted. Our investigation revealed the latter. By applying a cognitive ethology approach we were able to determine that a) peoples’ everyday understanding of perspective is diverse yet reliable, and b) a lab-based investigation that applies these diverse understandings in a controlled setting can accurately predict how people will perform. These findings provide a ‘proof of concept’ for the cognitive ethology approach. Moreover, the present data demonstrate that previous lab-based studies, that often had very different understandings of first- and third-person perspective, were each in and of themselves valid. That is, each is capturing part of a broader understanding of perspective in everyday life. Our results also revealed a novel social factor not included in traditional conceptualizations of first-person third-perspective, that of eye gaze, i.e., eye contact is equated strongly with first-person perspective and the lack of eye-contact with third-person perspective. PMID:24671136

  2. Utility of ethological analysis to overcome locomotor confounds in elevated maze models of anxiety.

    PubMed

    Weiss, S M; Wadsworth, G; Fletcher, A; Dourish, C T

    1998-01-01

    The elevated plus-maze is a commonly used model to identify putative anxiolytic and anxiogenic drugs. However, the validity of elevated plus-maze and other recently developed variants such as the elevated zero-maze has recently been questioned on the grounds that both the reference anxiolytic drug chlordiazepoxide and the psychostimulant d-amphetamine increase open arm exploration and stimulate locomotor activity. These findings suggest that measures of "anxiety" in the elevated maze cannot be adequately dissociated from simple changes in locomotor activity, which may confound the interpretation of results obtained using these models. A variety of approaches to assess drug effects on locomotor activity in the elevated maze have been suggested, including the use of total and closed arm entries, as well as supplementary tests such as exploration of the holeboard apparatus. However, all these approaches utilise the measurement of exploration in a novel environment, and as such, could potentially be influenced by either changes in anxiety or locomotor activity. Recently, it has been shown that ethological measures of "risk assessment", such as stretched-attend postures and head-dipping, are sensitive indicators of drug-effects in the elevated maze. The present study assessed the utility of ethological analysis in dissociating locomotor activity from "anxiety" by comparing the effects of d-amphetamine to those of chlordiazepoxide in the rat elevated zero-maze. The results showed that both chlordiazepoxide and d-amphetamine increase the amount of time spent in the open arms and reduce "risk assessment" without increasing line crossing or rearing. These results confirm that under certain test conditions, psychostimulants are capable of producing "false-positives" in elevated maze models, and that both traditional methods and the ethological measures used in this study fail to unequivocally dissociate drug effects on anxiety from effects on locomotor activity. Further

  3. Tactile communication, cooperation, and performance: an ethological study of the NBA.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Michael W; Huang, Cassey; Keltner, Dacher

    2010-10-01

    Tactile communication, or physical touch, promotes cooperation between people, communicates distinct emotions, soothes in times of stress, and is used to make inferences of warmth and trust. Based on this conceptual analysis, we predicted that in group competition, physical touch would predict increases in both individual and group performance. In an ethological study, we coded the touch behavior of players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) during the 2008-2009 regular season. Consistent with hypotheses, early season touch predicted greater performance for individuals as well as teams later in the season. Additional analyses confirmed that touch predicted improved performance even after accounting for player status, preseason expectations, and early season performance. Moreover, coded cooperative behaviors between teammates explained the association between touch and team performance. Discussion focused on the contributions touch makes to cooperative groups and the potential implications for other group settings. PMID:21038960

  4. From classic ethology to modern neuroethology: overcoming the three biases in social behavior research.

    PubMed

    Zilkha, Noga; Sofer, Yizhak; Beny, Yamit; Kimchi, Tali

    2016-06-01

    A typical current study investigating the neurobiology of animal behavior is likely restricted to male subjects, of standard inbred mouse strains, tested in simple behavioral assays under laboratory conditions. This approach enables the use of advanced molecular tools, alongside standardization and reproducibility, and has led to tremendous discoveries. However, the cost is a loss of genetic and phenotypic diversity and a divergence from ethologically-relevant behaviors. Here we review the pros and cons in behavioral neuroscience studies of the new era, focusing on reproductive behaviors in rodents. Recent advances in molecular technology and behavioral phenotyping in semi-natural conditions, together with an awareness of the critical need to study both sexes, may provide new insights into the neural mechanisms underlying social behaviors. PMID:27179302

  5. Eyebrow movements and vocal pitch height: evidence consistent with an ethological signal.

    PubMed

    Huron, David; Shanahan, Daniel

    2013-05-01

    When asked to sing a high pitch, people produce a facial expression that is judged more friendly compared with singing a low pitch [Huron et al. (2009). Empirical Musicology Rev. 4(3), 93-100]. This effect was observed even when judges viewed only the face above the tip of the nose, and implies a relationship between pitch height and eyebrow height. In the current study, we examine the reverse relationship. Thirty-one participants were asked to read aloud standard texts while holding their eyebrows in a raised, neutral, or lowered position. Average F0 was found to correlate positively with eyebrow position, with higher vocal pitch associated with higher eyebrow placement. However, manipulating eyebrow placement produces a considerably smaller effect (on pitch) compared with the effect of manipulating pitch (on eyebrows). Results are discussed from the perspective of ethological signals [Lorenz (1939). Zool. Anz. 12, 69-102]. PMID:23654399

  6. A biological basis for the Oedipus complex: an evolutionary and ethological approach.

    PubMed

    Jonas, A D; Jonas, D F

    1975-06-01

    The authors propose that the Oedipus complex has a strong biological basis that is evident in observations of human prehistoric and nonhuman primate behavior. The groundwork for the oedipal phase is the peaking of human infantile sexuality at age five or six-a vestige of an earlier biological timetable. Other contributing factors include the high level of helplessness of human infants, the resulting high attachment needs, and the prolongation of development phases. Unsuccessful resolution of the oedipal phase may result when the mother's dominant status is lowered. The authors suggest that an understanding of the relationship between sex and rank and an wareness of ethological findings can broaden psychodynamic formulations and enrich the psychoanalytic therapy of sexual problems. PMID:804819

  7. Ethological Evaluation of the Effects of Social Defeat Stress in Mice: Beyond the Social Interaction Ratio

    PubMed Central

    Henriques-Alves, Aron M.; Queiroz, Claudio M.

    2016-01-01

    In rodents, repeated exposure to unavoidable aggression followed by sustained sensory treat can lead to prolonged social aversion. The chronic social defeat stress model explores that phenomenon and it has been used as an animal model for human depression. However, some authors have questioned whether confounding effects may arise as the model also boosts anxiety-related behaviors. Despite its wide acceptance, most studies extract limited information from the behavior of the defeated animal. Often, the normalized occupancy around the social stimulus, the interaction zone, is taken as an index of depression. We hypothesized that this parameter is insufficient to fully characterize the behavioral consequences of this form of stress. Using an ethological approach, we showed that repeated social defeat delayed the expression of social investigation in long (10 min) sessions of social interaction. Also, the incidence of defensive behaviors, including stretched-attend posture and high speed retreats, was significantly higher in defeated mice in comparison to controls. Interestingly, a subpopulation of defeated mice showed recurrent and non-habituating stretched-attend posture and persistent flights during the entire session. Two indexes were created based on defensive behaviors to show that only recurrent flights correlates with sucrose intake. Together, the present study corroborates the idea that this model of social stress can precipitate a myriad of behaviors not readily disentangled. We propose that long sessions (>150 s) and detailed ethological evaluation during social interaction tests are necessary to provide enough information to correctly classify defeated animals in terms of resilience and susceptibility to social defeat stress. PMID:26869895

  8. Ethological Evaluation of the Effects of Social Defeat Stress in Mice: Beyond the Social Interaction Ratio.

    PubMed

    Henriques-Alves, Aron M; Queiroz, Claudio M

    2015-01-01

    In rodents, repeated exposure to unavoidable aggression followed by sustained sensory treat can lead to prolonged social aversion. The chronic social defeat stress model explores that phenomenon and it has been used as an animal model for human depression. However, some authors have questioned whether confounding effects may arise as the model also boosts anxiety-related behaviors. Despite its wide acceptance, most studies extract limited information from the behavior of the defeated animal. Often, the normalized occupancy around the social stimulus, the interaction zone, is taken as an index of depression. We hypothesized that this parameter is insufficient to fully characterize the behavioral consequences of this form of stress. Using an ethological approach, we showed that repeated social defeat delayed the expression of social investigation in long (10 min) sessions of social interaction. Also, the incidence of defensive behaviors, including stretched-attend posture and high speed retreats, was significantly higher in defeated mice in comparison to controls. Interestingly, a subpopulation of defeated mice showed recurrent and non-habituating stretched-attend posture and persistent flights during the entire session. Two indexes were created based on defensive behaviors to show that only recurrent flights correlates with sucrose intake. Together, the present study corroborates the idea that this model of social stress can precipitate a myriad of behaviors not readily disentangled. We propose that long sessions (>150 s) and detailed ethological evaluation during social interaction tests are necessary to provide enough information to correctly classify defeated animals in terms of resilience and susceptibility to social defeat stress. PMID:26869895

  9. The Mars-500 crew in daily life activities: An ethological study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tafforin, Carole

    2013-10-01

    A Mars mission is a new challenge for scientific investigators in the space field. What would be the behavioral profile of an interplanetary crew with long-duration social isolation and spatial restriction? The current study addresses this question with the first ethological data from the Mars-500 experiment. It took place in Moscow, Russia from June 3, 2010 to November 4, 2011. It was designed to simulate the living and working conditions of an isolated and confined crew over 250 days for reaching Mars, 30 days for Mars orbiting with Mars landing and 240 days for returning to Earth. The Mars-500 crew was composed of three Russians, two Europeans and one Chinese. The Mars-500 facilities comprised four hermetically sealed, interconnected modules and a Martian surface module. We applied the ethological method based on observation, description and quantification of the individual and inter-individual behaviors in terms of personal actions, visual interactions, object interactions, body interactions, facial expressions and collateral acts. These events were scored on the Observer XT® software, from video recordings made every two weeks at breakfast time inside the habitat module. We found the following results: a diminishing collective time from the first phase corresponding to the 250-day trip to Mars to the second phase corresponding to the 240-day return to Earth; 35-day cycles then 70-day cycles of high duration of personal actions within these phases; periodic oscillations of duration of inter-personal actions; decreasing then increasing occurrences of facial expressions with temporal points of decrements, around day 159 and day 355, after 6 months and one year of simulation; increasing occurrences of collateral acts over the full 520-day journey. We discuss the findings with regard to a Mars mission scenario. Time has a major impact on the behavioral profile, as shown by indicators of physical and psychological states of fatigue, stress, well being and good

  10. Novel ethological endophenotypes in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Mo, Christina; Renoir, Thibault; Hannan, Anthony J

    2015-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant, neurodegenerative disorder with a characteristic triad of cognitive, affective and motor symptoms. Transgenic HD mice show excellent construct and face validity for many of these symptoms, however the decline in some facets of every day activity in humans is difficult to model. One approach is the assessment of species-relevant behaviors. Here we described three ethologically appropriate tests in the mouse-olfactory sensitivity, nest-building and sexually-motivated vocalizations. In R6/1 HD mice, olfactory and nest-building tests were sensitive to early dysfunctions induced by the HD mutation. Male vocalization testing revealed a late-stage sexual disinterest in R6/1 HD mice compared to WT littermates. We show that essential, species-relevant functions are disrupted by the HD mutation. The development of integrative behavioral assays which more closely model 'activities of daily living' (ADL) will facilitate the testing of novel therapeutic interventions in animal models as well as their clinical translation. PMID:24747660

  11. [Ultrasonographic expressions of the fetal face may reflect fetal mood--mimicry is part of fetal ethology].

    PubMed

    Jakobovits, Akos

    2006-03-20

    The author studied foetal faces and changes in features in the coronal plane during routine prenatal ultrasound scans. Based on known behaviour of children and adults, deductions can be made about foetal mood alterations. During the four years of the study the author noted five main facial expression changes that might be reflections of foetal mood. Foetal expressions and fine lineaments may indicate adequate maturity of the central nervous system as well as satisfactory oxygen supply. Ethologically, facial mimicry is an inherited behavioural pattern. PMID:16634456

  12. Understanding the neurophysiological basis of auditory abilities for social communication: A perspective on the value of ethological paradigms

    PubMed Central

    Bennur, Sharath; Tsunada, Joji; Cohen, Yale E.; Liu, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    Acoustic communication between animals requires them to detect, discriminate, and categorize conspecific or heterospecific vocalizations in their natural environment. Laboratory studies of the auditory-processing abilities that facilitate these tasks have typically employed a broad range of acoustic stimuli, ranging from natural sounds like vocalizations to “artificial” sounds like pure tones and noise bursts. However, even when using vocalizations, laboratory studies often test abilities like categorization in relatively artificial contexts. Consequently, it is not clear whether neural and behavioral correlates of these tasks (1) reflect extensive operant training, which drives plastic changes in auditory pathways, or (2) the innate capacity of the animal and its auditory system. Here, we review a number of recent studies, which suggest that adopting more ethological paradigms utilizing natural communication contexts are scientifically important for elucidating how the auditory system normally processes and learns communication sounds. Additionally, since learning the meaning of communication sounds generally involves social interactions that engage neuromodulatory systems differently than laboratory-based conditioning paradigms, we argue that scientists need to pursue more ethological approaches to more fully inform our understanding of how the auditory system is engaged during acoustic communication. PMID:23994815

  13. Facial expression of fear in the context of human ethology: Recognition advantage in the perception of male faces.

    PubMed

    Trnka, Radek; Tavel, Peter; Tavel, Peter; Hasto, Jozef

    2015-01-01

    Facial expression is one of the core issues in the ethological approach to the study of human behaviour. This study discusses sex-specific aspects of the recognition of the facial expression of fear using results from our previously published experimental study. We conducted an experiment in which 201 participants judged seven different facial expressions: anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise (Trnka et al. 2007). Participants were able to recognize the facial expression of fear significantly better on a male face than on a female face. Females also recognized fear generally better than males. The present study provides a new interpretation of this sex difference in the recognition of fear. We interpret these results within the paradigm of human ethology, taking into account the adaptive function of the facial expression of fear. We argue that better detection of fear might be crucial for females under a situation of serious danger in groups of early hominids. The crucial role of females in nurturing and protecting offspring was fundamental for the reproductive potential of the group. A clear decoding of this alarm signal might thus have enabled the timely preparation of females for escape or defence to protect their health for successful reproduction. Further, it is likely that males played the role of guardians of social groups and that they were responsible for effective warnings of the group under situations of serious danger. This may explain why the facial expression of fear is better recognizable on the male face than on the female face. PMID:26071575

  14. Morphological features of larvae of Drusus plicatus Radovanović (Insecta, Trichoptera) from the Republic of Macedonia with molecular, ecological, ethological, and distributional notes

    PubMed Central

    Kučinić, Mladen; Previšić, Ana; Mihoci, Iva; Krpač, Vladimir; Živić, Ivana; Stojanović, Katarina; Vojvoda, Ana Mrnjavčić; Katušić, Luka

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A description of the larva of Drusus plicatus Radovanović is given for the first time. The most important diagnostic characters enabling separation from larvae of the other Drusinae from the southeast Europe are listed. Molecular, ecological, and ethological features and distribution patterns of the species are given. Additionally, information on the sympatric caddisfly species of the three springs where larvae and adults of Drusus plicatus were found and presented. PMID:27408591

  15. Chemical identification and ethological function of soldier-specific secretion in Japanese subterranean termite Reticulitermes speratus (Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tuan T; Kanaori, Kenji; Hojo, Masaru K; Kawada, Tatsuro; Yamaoka, Ryohei; Akino, Toshiharu

    2011-01-01

    We identified the soldier-specific compounds in the Japanese subterranean termite, Reticulitermes speratus, to clarify their ethological roles. Silica gel column chromatography separated one major soldier-specific compound in the hexane fraction accounting for 70-80% of the total amount of the fraction, while cuticular hydrocarbons constituted the rest. We identified the compound as β-selinene by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Comparative GC analyses of the major exocrine glands detected the compound in the soldier's frontal gland. Both soldiers and workers made aggregation to the hexane fraction, as well as to the crushed heads and head extract of the soldiers. They did not aggregate to cuticular hydrocarbons, making it likely that β-selinene was the aggregation pheromone in this species. The opportunistic predator of this termite, Lasius japonicus, was also attracted to the compounds. The ant workers, therefore, would use the termite aggregation pheromone as a kairomone for hunting them. PMID:21897019

  16. Operant avoidance learning in crayfish, Orconectes rusticus: Computational ethology and the development of an automated learning paradigm.

    PubMed

    Bhimani, Rohan; Huber, Robert

    2016-09-01

    Research in crustaceans offers a valuable perspective for studying the neural implementation of conserved behavioral phenomena, including motivation, escape, aggression, and drug-sensitive reward. The present work adds to this literature by demonstrating that crayfish successfully learn to respond to spatially contingent cues. An integrated video-tracking system automatically delivered a mild electric shock when a test animal entered or remained on a substrate paired with punishment. Following a few instances of shock delivery, crayfish quickly learned to avoid these areas. Comparable changes in substrate preference were not exhibited by yoked controls, but locomotion differed significantly from both pre-conditioning levels and from those of their masters receiving shock in a contingent fashion. The results of this work provide valuable insights into the principles governing avoidance learning in an invertebrate system and provide a behavioral template for exploring the neural changes during associative learning. Serving as a case study, this project introduces a new computer framework for the automated control of learning paradigms. Based on routines contained within the JavaGrinders library (free download at iEthology.com), it integrates real-time video tracking with robotic interfaces, and provides a suitable framework for implementing automated learning paradigms. PMID:26542703

  17. The ethology of empathy: a taxonomy of real-world targets of need and their effect on observers.

    PubMed

    Preston, Stephanie D; Hofelich, Alicia J; Stansfield, R Brent

    2013-01-01

    Empathy is inherently interpersonal, but the majority of research has only examined observers. Targets of need have been largely held constant through hypothetical and fictionalized depictions of sympathetic distress and need. In the real world, people's response to life stressors varies widely-from stoicism to resilience to complete breakdown-variations that should profoundly influence the prosocial exchange. The current study examined naturally-varying affect in real hospital patients with serious chronic or terminal illness during videotaped interviews about quality of life. Participants viewed each video while psychophysiological data were recorded and then rated each patient's and their own emotion. Patients displayed three major emotion factors (disturbed, softhearted, and amused) that were used to classify them into five basic types (distraught, resilient, sanguine, reticent, wistful). These types elicited four major emotions in observers [personal distress (PD), empathic concern (EC), horror, pleasure], two of which were never discovered previously with fictionalized targets. Across studies and measures, distraught targets usually received the greatest aid, but approximately as many observers preferred the positive and likeable resilient patients or the quietly sad wistful targets, with multiple observers even giving their greatest aid to sanguine or reticent targets who did not display distress or need. Trait empathy motivated aid toward more emotive targets while perspective taking (PT) motivated aid for those who did not overtly display distress. A second study replicated key results without even providing the content of patients' speech. Through an ecological examination of real need we discovered variation and commonality in the emotional response to need that interacts strongly with the preferences of observers. Social interactions need to be studied in ethological contexts that retain the complex interplay between senders and receivers. PMID:23986680

  18. The ethology of empathy: a taxonomy of real-world targets of need and their effect on observers

    PubMed Central

    Preston, Stephanie D.; Hofelich, Alicia J.; Stansfield, R. Brent

    2013-01-01

    Empathy is inherently interpersonal, but the majority of research has only examined observers. Targets of need have been largely held constant through hypothetical and fictionalized depictions of sympathetic distress and need. In the real world, people's response to life stressors varies widely—from stoicism to resilience to complete breakdown—variations that should profoundly influence the prosocial exchange. The current study examined naturally-varying affect in real hospital patients with serious chronic or terminal illness during videotaped interviews about quality of life. Participants viewed each video while psychophysiological data were recorded and then rated each patient's and their own emotion. Patients displayed three major emotion factors (disturbed, softhearted, and amused) that were used to classify them into five basic types (distraught, resilient, sanguine, reticent, wistful). These types elicited four major emotions in observers [personal distress (PD), empathic concern (EC), horror, pleasure], two of which were never discovered previously with fictionalized targets. Across studies and measures, distraught targets usually received the greatest aid, but approximately as many observers preferred the positive and likeable resilient patients or the quietly sad wistful targets, with multiple observers even giving their greatest aid to sanguine or reticent targets who did not display distress or need. Trait empathy motivated aid toward more emotive targets while perspective taking (PT) motivated aid for those who did not overtly display distress. A second study replicated key results without even providing the content of patients' speech. Through an ecological examination of real need we discovered variation and commonality in the emotional response to need that interacts strongly with the preferences of observers. Social interactions need to be studied in ethological contexts that retain the complex interplay between senders and receivers. PMID

  19. Aquatic animals, cognitive ethology, and ethics: questions about sentience and other troubling issues that lurk in turbid water.

    PubMed

    Bekoff, Marc

    2007-05-01

    In this general, strongly pro-animal, and somewhat utopian and personal essay, I argue that we owe aquatic animals respect and moral consideration just as we owe respect and moral consideration to all other animal beings, regardless of the taxonomic group to which they belong. In many ways it is more difficult to convince some people of our ethical obligations to numerous aquatic animals because we do not identify or empathize with them as we do with animals with whom we are more familiar or to whom we are more closely related, including those species (usually terrestrial) to whom we refer as charismatic megafauna. Many of my examples come from animals that are more well studied but they can be used as models for aquatic animals. I follow Darwinian notions of evolutionary continuity to argue that if we feel pain, then so too do many other animals, including those that live in aquatic environs. Recent scientific data ('science sense') show clearly that many aquatic organisms, much to some people's surprise, likely suffer at our hands and feel their own sorts of pain. Throughout I discuss how cognitive ethology (the study of animal minds) is the unifying science for understanding the subjective, emotional, empathic, and moral lives of animals because it is essential to know what animals do, think, and feel as they go about their daily routines. Lastly, I argue that when we are uncertain if we are inflicting pain due to our incessant, annoying, and frequently unnecessary intrusions into the lives of other animals as we go about 'redecorating nature' (removing animals or moving them from place to place), we should err on the side of the animals and stop engaging in activities that cause pain and suffering. PMID:17578248

  20. Ethological analysis of a polar team in the French Antarctic station Dumont d'Urville as simulation of space teams for future interplanetary missions.

    PubMed

    Tafforin, Carole

    2004-07-01

    This new ethological study focuses on the co-adaptation of the crew's spatial behavior to social isolation in a polar base thus simulating long-term living and working of a space team. The method consisted in drawing the subjects' position (n=13) on an observation map at the midday and evening meals at the Dumont d'Urville French station in Antarctica, daily during the summer campaigns and weekly during the winter-over of the TA46 mission. Quantitative data are presented in geocentric (positions), allocentric (distances) and egocentric (orientations) analyses with an emphasis on three adaptative periods (first 3 months, intermediary 2 months and last 3 months of isolation). Results show a large space occupancy during the first week after arrival and the last week before departure from the polar base, and a team-members' grouping during the winter-over. On the over-all time, the inter-individual distances increase. The social orientations are higher at the beginning than at the end of the mission. Discussion underlies the pertinent use of such ethological indicators collected from polar stations as predictors of well-being and optimal-working of the future orbital and planetary stations users. PMID:15786592

  1. Ethology and Man

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biology and Human Affairs, 1971

    1971-01-01

    Reviews four texts and compilations of papers in an effort to assess the relevance of animal behavior studies to anthropology and sociology. Concludes that where a basic element of behavior occurs widely throughout the animal kingdom, especially in the higher mammals and primates, we may expect to find a manifestation in man." Limitations of the…

  2. Ethological comparison of the effects of a bovine alpha s1-casein tryptic hydrolysate and diazepam on the behaviour of rats in two models of anxiety.

    PubMed

    Violle, Nicolas; Messaoudi, Michaël; Lefranc-Millot, Catherine; Desor, Didier; Nejdi, Amine; Demagny, Benoit; Schroeder, Henri

    2006-07-01

    A bovine alpha s1-casein tryptic hydrolysate was previously demonstrated to display an anxiolytic-like activity in the conditioned defensive burying and in the elevated plus-maze models when i.p. injected. The present study assessed the anxiolytic-like effects of this tryptic hydrolysate after an oral administration in rats faced to the same behavioural situations using diazepam as a reference. In a first experiment, the behavioural effects of the hydrolysate in the conditioned defensive burying test were investigated at doses ranging 5-50 mg/kg. The results showed that the minimal dose required to elicit an anxiolytic-like activity is 15 mg/kg. In a second experiment, the alpha s1-casein tryptic hydrolysate (15 mg/kg, p.o.) was demonstrated to display an anxiolytic-like activity similar to diazepam (3 mg/kg, p.o.) in the conditioned defensive burying test and the elevated plus-maze. However, the ethological analysis of behaviour indicated that this hydrolysate has a different activity compared to diazepam. While diazepam induced a disinhibition state in rats, possibly related to the risk-taking behaviour observed after a benzodiazepine ingestion in humans, the tryptic hydrolysate did not display such a side effect. These results suggest that the mechanism of action of the bovine alpha s1-casein tryptic hydrolysate may differ from that of diazepam. PMID:16899284

  3. Effect of differently structured and processed feedstuffs on diverse parameters of ethology and digestibility of growing rabbits and their influence on morphological structures in small intestine.

    PubMed

    Lang, Caroline; Hinchliffe, David; Brendle, Julia; Weirichl, Carmen; Hoy, Steffen

    2016-01-01

    The influence of different feedstuffs on parameters of digestion and ethology in growing rabbits (duration and number of feed intake, needed masticatory movements, pH value in stomach and small intestine, dry matter content of stomach chyme, level of destruction of cell structures in small intestine) was analysed. 384 five weeks old rabbits were fed with one of three feedstuffs: pellets (mean fibre length = 3 mm), fibre blocks (mean fibre length = 40 mm) and hay-oat-beat-ration (length of hay fibre ≥ 70 mm). The masticatory movements and duration for uptake 0.1 g of feedstuffs were measured in a special observation box. Rabbits in group cages were observed by 24 h video recording and duration and numbers of feed intakes were documented. After 8 weeks rabbits were slaughtered and pH values measured in stomach chyme (and dry matter content) and small intestine. Samples of them were taken and histologically examined (total length of villi and crypts, width of villi and degree of destruction determined by scores from 0 [= no destruction] to 3 [= severe destruction of villi]). Pellets lead to a faster feed intake with a lower number of masticatory movements. This equates a minor feeding time per feed intake and a higher amount of feedstuff in a shorter time. The dry matter content in stomach chyme increases and pH value was significantly higher there, but lower in duodenum. They also showed a significantly higher degree of destruction of villi, a shorter length and a larger width of villi than others. PMID:27169154

  4. Sociometric and ethological approach to the assessment of individual and group behavior in extra long-term isolation during simulated interplanetary mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gushin, Vadim; Tafforin, Carole; Kuznetsova, Polina; Vinokhodova, Alla; Chekalina, Angelina

    Several factors, such as hazard to life, reduced social communications, isolation, high workload, monotony, etc., can cause deconditioning of individual status and group dynamics in long-term spaceflight. New approaches to the assessment of group behavior are being developed in order to create necessary counter-measures and to keep optimal psychological climate in the crew. Psychological methods combined with ethological approach to dynamic monitoring of the isolated crew had been tested and validated in Mars-500 experiment. The experiment (duration of 520 days) was designed to simulate the living and working conditions of a piloted mission to Mars. The Mars-500 crew was composed of three Russians, two Europeans and one Chinese. We used psychological tests: sociometric questionnaire to assess group status (popularity) of the crewmembers (monthly), color choice test to assess the level of frustration and anxiety (twice a month). We performed observations from video recordings of group discussions (monthly) and during breakfast time (twice a month). The video analysis was supplied with a software based-solution: The Observer XT®. The results showed that occurrence of collateral acts may indicate psychological stress and fatigue in crewmembers under isolation and that facial expressions may indicate less anxiety. The data of psychological tests allowed to define two subgroups in the crew. The first one consisted of the subjects with high group status and lower level of frustration (not anxious), the second one consisted of less popular subjects, having respectively higher anxiety level. The video analysis showed two times more manifestations of facial expressions and interpersonal communications for the first subgroup. We also identified the subgroups on the basis of their verbal expressions in Russian and in English. Video observation of individual and group behavior, combined with other psychological tests gives opportunity to emphasize more objectively the signs

  5. Human Ethology: Personal Space Reiterated

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barash, David P.

    1973-01-01

    A study of human personal space and flight distance in terms of the responses of college students to intrusions upon their presumed personal space. Investigates the elicitation of aggressive or defensive behavior. (LK)

  6. An Experimental Fish Ethology Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Ronald L., Jr.; Novak, John A.

    1984-01-01

    Describes a series of four experiments designed for small group involvement (each requiring 6 days) emphasizing students' scientific methodology. Topics include: feeding behavior; light/temperature effects on reproduction; effect of density on feeding; and altered male/female ratios on male behavior. Each experiment includes introduction, material…

  7. Play and Development From an Ethological Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandenberg, Brian

    1978-01-01

    A review of play in nonhuman animals indicates that play increases with phylogenetic status, is important for mature social development in more advanced species, reflects intentional activity, and is essential for the development of tool-using strategies. (Author)

  8. Human Ethology: Exchanging Cheetahs for Chevrolets?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barash, David P.

    1977-01-01

    A study of the frequency of looking both ways before crossing a street revealed that both males and females tend to look both ways more often when accompanied by juveniles than when alone, and that when males and females are together, males look both ways more often than do females. (Author/MA)

  9. MARKING INSECTS FOR STUDYING ECOLOGY AND ETHOLOGY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Different kinds of markers can be used for studying insect ecology and behavior, and each have special strengths, weaknesses, and applications. Various kinds of markers are described, including visual tags (e.g., paint, wires, dyes, pollen, and spores), rubidium, radiotracers, rare earth elements, ...

  10. Darwin's Legacy to Comparative Psychology and Ethology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burghardt, Gordon M.

    2009-01-01

    Charles Darwin made numerous seminal contributions to the study of animal behavior over his long career. This essay places these contributions in the context of Darwin's life, showing his long-standing interest in psychological and behavioral issues encompassing all species, including humans. Ten areas are highlighted: natural history;…

  11. Simultaneous determination of three alkaloids, four ginsenosides and limonin in the plasma of normal and headache rats after oral administration of Wu-Zhu-Yu decoction by a novel ultra fast liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method: application to a comparative pharmacokinetics and ethological study.

    PubMed

    Xu, Huarong; Li, Qing; Yin, Yidi; Lv, Chunxiao; Sun, Wanyang; He, Bosai; Liu, Ran; Chen, Xiaohui; Bi, Kaishun

    2013-04-01

    A novel, sensitive and reliable ultra fast liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UFLC-MS/MS) method has been developed and validated for simultaneous quantitation of eight main active ingredients (evodiamine, rutaecarpine, dehydroevodiamine, limonin, ginsenoside Rb1, Rd, Re and Rg1) in rat plasma after oral administration of Wu-Zhu-Yu (WZY) decoction, which is a celebrated and widely used Traditional Chinese Medicine formula for the treatment of headache. The analytes and internal standard (IS) were separated on a SHIM-PACK XR-ODS II column, and the detection was performed on a UFLC-MS/MS system with turbo ion spray source. The lower limits of quantification were 1.5, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 2.0, 1.0, 0.5 and 0.2 ng ml(-1) for evodiamine, rutaecarpine, dehydroevodiamine, limonin, gensenoside Rb1, Rd, Re and Rg1, respectively. Linearity, accuracy, precision and absolute recoveries of the eight analytes were all within satisfaction. The IS-normalized matrix factor was adopted for assessing the matrix effect and accompanied with a satisfactory result. The validated method has been successfully applied to compare pharmacokinetic profiles of the eight active ingredients in rat plasma between normal and headache rats after administration. Exact pharmaceutical effect of WZY decoction on headache was demonstrated by the ethological response of headache rats induced by nitric oxide donor after administration. The results indicated that the absorption of evodiamine, rutaecarpine, gensenoside Rb1, Re and Rg1 in headache group were significantly higher than those in normal group with similar concentration-time curves while no significant differences existed in limonin and ginsenoside Rd between the two groups. PMID:23584945

  12. Using the Blue Gourami in Ethological and Embryological Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Theresa; Pollak, Edward I.

    1981-01-01

    Lists advantages in the use of the blue gourami in laboratory experiments on reproduction and embryogenesis. Materials and procedures for maintaining and spawning blue gouramis are provided. Also includes details on microscopic examination of developing embryos and histological techniques for microscope slide preparation. (CS)

  13. Ethology of Omniablautus nigronotum (Wilcox) (Diptera: Asilidae) in Wyoming

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In southwest Wyoming, Omniablautus nigronotum (Wilcox), hunted primarily from the surface of the sandy substrate in a greasewood community. Prey, captured in flight, represented four insect orders with Diptera and Hymenoptera predominating. Courtship consisted of the male approaching the female from...

  14. The Biological Unity of Mankind: Human Ethology, Concepts and Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Irenaus

    1977-01-01

    Compares inborn behavior patterns of animals and humans, and argues that all human behavior is not shaped by environment and culture. A cross-cultural comparison of human motor patterns is described in order to substantiate the author's argument that man's behavior is not entirely learned. (AV)

  15. Philosophical, Psychological, and Ethological Approaches to the Search for Intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waller, S.

    2010-04-01

    How we define intelligence determines how we will look for it, as well as what explanatory approaches we will accept. This paper discusses the gaps between disciplines that study intelligence, and seeks to develop a more complete and expansive understanding of intelligence.

  16. Ethological study of the effects of tetrahydroaminoacridine (THA) on social recognition in rats.

    PubMed

    Gheusi, G; Bluthe, R M; Goodall, G; Dantzer, R

    1994-05-01

    Two major difficulties confront ethopharmacological investigations on cognitive abilities such as social recognition in drug-treated animals involved in free social interactions. The first concerns the choice of the most relevant behaviours, those reflecting the cognitive abilities attributed to the animals and assessing the specificity of the drug activity, and those reflecting non-specific drug effects. The second refers to the experimenter's awareness that in contrast to physical objects, social stimuli respond to drug-treated subjects and that their own level of responsiveness may influence the changes of drug-treated subjects' social interest. In addition, their contribution may vary according to the different treatments the drug-treated subjects receive. In examining the effects of tetrahydroaminoacridine (THA) at doses of 0.3, 1 and 3 mg/kg on the ability of adult male rats to recognize previously encountered conspecifics, we attempted to take into consideration such difficulties. A detailed behavioural profile of drug-treated rats was reported to separate specific from non-specific effects of THA. In addition, rats were assigned an index of responsibility for contact which takes into account the interactive dimension of each dyad and allows relevant comparisons between different treatments. The doses of THA which were found to decrease the duration of exploration of a familiar juvenile were also found to decrease the number of contacts initiated by the drug-treated subjects. THA induced a relative increase in body care by comparison to saline treatment. However, it had no effect of locomotor activity and rearing of the subjects. These findings enable dissociation of the effects of THA on cognitive versus non-cognitive processes. PMID:7855227

  17. Amygdala lesions produce analgesia in a novel, ethologically relevant acute pain test.

    PubMed

    Hebert, M A; Ardid, D; Henrie, J A; Tamashiro, K; Blanchard, D C; Blanchard, R J

    1999-08-01

    Acute pain tests using mechanical stimuli typically do not involve objects important in the evolutionary history of the subjects, and may fail to evaluate the contribution of biobehavioral defensive reactions to the total pain response. Spines are common structural defenses that protect plants and animals against predation. The present studies examined the reaction to contact with such natural, mechanical pain stimuli in the laboratory rat, utilizing a floor board with protruding pins located in the middle of a novel alley (the "fakir" test). Behavioral responses were characterized in 10-min tests (Experiment 1). Subjects showed voluntary contact with the pins followed by patterns of avoidance and risk assessment (stretch attend and stretch approach). Few subjects crossed the array of pins. The amygdala has been implicated in the perception of pain, particularly in stressful or fearful contexts. In Experiment 2, the fakir test was used to examine, concurrently, the effects of amygdala lesions on analgesiometric (frequency and duration of pin crossings) and anxiometric (risk assessment) measures. Large, bilateral, lesions of the amygdala significantly increased both the number of pin crossings and time spent on the pins without affecting the risk assessment measures. These findings suggest a possible dissociation between anxiety and pain perception with an important (nonaffective) role for the amygdala in the latter. PMID:10463635

  18. Urban begging and ethnic nepotism in Russia : An ethological pilot study.

    PubMed

    Butovskaya, M; Salter, F; Diakonov, I; Smirnov, A

    2000-06-01

    Ethnic nepotism theory predicts that even in times of communal peace altruism is more pronounced within than between ethnic groups. The present study tested the hypothesis that altruism in the form of alms giving would be greater within than between ethnic groups, and greater between more closely related groups than between more distant groups. The three groups chosen for study were ethnic Russians, Moldavians, and Gypsies. Russians are genetically closer to Moldavians than to Gypsies. Observations were made of 128 ethnic Russian, 25 Moldavian, and 25 Gypsy beggars receiving gifts from ethnic Russians in Moscow trains. The Gypsies were mainly girls, contrary to the Russian sample. Multivariate analysis identified three main strategies: active, personified, and appeasing-undirected. Russian strategies were most variable. Gypsies presented strong charity releasers: 84% were children who played music and sang and showed appeasing-undirected behavior. The few adults were highly submissive or friendly. Nevertheless, their success was limited compared with that of ethnic Russians despite the latter's demanding behavior and their being mostly mature or elderly persons. Moldavians received an intermediate amount of charity. The hypothesis was supported. PMID:26193365

  19. Ethological concepts revisited: immediate early gene induction in response to sexual stimuli in birds.

    PubMed

    Ball, G F; Balthazar, J

    2001-05-01

    Courtship behaviors were interpreted by ethologists as being examples of 'sign stimuli' that would act as 'releasers' of stereotypic species-typical behaviors in conspecifics. A key component of the sign stimulus concept is that some form of stimulus filtering occurs that is responsible for the marked selective behavioral responsiveness. Studies of immediate early gene induction in the avian brain in response to conspecific stimuli associated with courtship and mating reveal that such gene induction is highly selective. In male Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), studies of the immediate early gene c-fos or zenk have been conducted in birds engaging in both appetitive and consummatory aspects of male sexual behavior. High induction of immediate early genes occurs in hypothalamic and limbic areas such as the medial preoptic nucleus, bed nucleus striae terminalis and parts of the archistriatum in birds who had copulated and/or who had expressed a learned social proximity response, reflecting appetitive sexual behavior. Immediate early gene expression was also increased in telencephalic areas such as the hyperstriatum ventrale that presumably plays a role in the integration of sensory cues related to female recognition. In European starlings, studies of zenk induction have been conducted in females who hear male-typical courtship song. Clayton and Mello had shown that zenk is induced in the auditory telencephalon of canaries and zebra finches at high levels specifically in response to conspecific song. Immediate early genes such as fos and zenk are also expressed in song control nuclei specifically in association with song production. In starlings it was found that song was effective in rapidly inducing zenk expression in the auditory telencephalon in males and in females in the breeding as well as in the non-breeding season. Thus, the expression is not greater in females who use song to choose mates or during the breeding season when females are choosing mates. However, there is evidence that high levels of induction in certain areas of the auditory telencephalon in females are greater in response to songs organized in longer bouts that females prefer. Though immediate early gene induction in the brain does not exactly mimic selective behavioral responses to sign stimuli it may represent one important way in which stimulus selectivity of the sort hypothesized previously by Tinbergen and Lorenz is coded. Engaging in species-typical behaviors is also associated with motor-driven immediate early gene expression. PMID:11641562

  20. Affiliative Subgroups in Preschool Classrooms: Integrating Constructs and Methods from Social Ethology and Sociometric Traditions.

    PubMed

    Santos, António J; Daniel, João R; Fernandes, Carla; Vaughn, Brian E

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies of school-age children and adolescents have used social network analyses to characterize selection and socialization aspects of peer groups. Fewer network studies have been reported for preschool classrooms and many of those have focused on structural descriptions of peer networks, and/or, on selection processes rather than on social functions of subgroup membership. In this study we started by identifying and describing different types of affiliative subgroups (HMP- high mutual proximity, LMP- low mutual proximity, and ungrouped children) in a sample of 240 Portuguese preschool children using nearest neighbor observations. Next, we used additional behavioral observations and sociometric data to show that HMP and LMP subgroups are functionally distinct: HMP subgroups appear to reflect friendship relations, whereas LMP subgroups appear to reflect common social goals, but without strong, within-subgroup dyadic ties. Finally, we examined the longitudinal implications of subgroup membership and show that children classified as HMP in consecutive years had more reciprocated friendships than did children whose subgroup classification changed from LMP or ungrouped to HMP. These results extend previous findings reported for North American peer groups. PMID:26134139

  1. The "Specters" of Bodies and Affects in the Classroom: A Rhizo-Ethological Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zembylas, Michalinos

    2007-01-01

    Drawing on the poststructuralist notions of the body and affect by Gilles Deleuze, the author will show that bodies and affects in the classroom may be redefined as intensities and energies that "produce" new affective and embodied "connections". What he suggests is that reconceiving teaching and learning as a plane for the production of intense…

  2. Cybernetic control model from ethology for adaptive coordination of robot behaviors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlueter, Bernd

    1992-08-01

    In this paper we propose a cybernetic approach to behavior based robotics. We present a distributed adaptive control architecture for coordination of different motivations and behaviors of an autonomous vehicle. The system is based on the Zurich Model of Social Motivation, a cybernetic approach to mammalian behavior by the Swiss ethologist BISCHOF. Our system controls a simulated autonomous robot by teaching a reflective associative memory to propose an action based on the input of eight range sensors. The emerging behavior at every stage reflects the system's experience, and the robust in unexpected situations.

  3. Formation and Stabilization of Vertical Hierarchies among Adolescents: Towards a Quantitative Ethology of Dominance among Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, John Levi

    2009-01-01

    Social psychological investigations of hierarchy formation have been almost entirely confined to the case of task-oriented groups and hence have produced theories that turn on the existence of such a task. But other forms of vertical hierarchy may emerge in non-task groups. One form, orderings of dominance, has been studied among animals using…

  4. [Ethological competence of Perm Territory dwellers in the assurance of personal infection safety].

    PubMed

    Merzlova, N B; Serova, I A; Iagodina, A Iu

    2014-01-01

    The authors attempted to analyze preventive measures against infectious and parasitic diseases, which were used domestically by the Perm Territory population, their conjugacy with the stereotypes of attitude towards domestic animals, as well as behavioral features of compliance andcompetence in the assurance of infection safety. The found gaps in the assurance of personal infection safety (drinking unboiled water, unprotected sex, disregard of helminth prevention in domestic animals, and unwillingness to go in for sports) are coherent with the epidemiological situation in the Perm Territory and to our clinical and laboratory study of the patients of the Perm Territory Children's Clinical Hospital in 2011. Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was used to examine 10075 patients for helminths and protozoa; parasitic diseases were detected in 2047 (20.3%) persons. The diagnostic titer of antibodies to Toxocara antigens was revealed in 677 (11.8%) children of 5700 patients examined for toxocariasis; that for Opisthorchis antigens was in 595 (37.7%) of 1578 examined for Opisthorchis infestation. The diagnostic titers for echinococcosis was found in 9 (0.75%) of 1198 patients; later on the diagnosis of hydatid disease was verified by epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory studies. Despite the inadequate informative value of EIA for the diagnosis of giardiasis, high antibody titers to Lamblia antigens were detected in 766 (47.9%) of 1599 children. PMID:25296422

  5. Affiliative Subgroups in Preschool Classrooms: Integrating Constructs and Methods from Social Ethology and Sociometric Traditions

    PubMed Central

    Santos, António J.; Daniel, João R.; Fernandes, Carla; Vaughn, Brian E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies of school-age children and adolescents have used social network analyses to characterize selection and socialization aspects of peer groups. Fewer network studies have been reported for preschool classrooms and many of those have focused on structural descriptions of peer networks, and/or, on selection processes rather than on social functions of subgroup membership. In this study we started by identifying and describing different types of affiliative subgroups (HMP- high mutual proximity, LMP- low mutual proximity, and ungrouped children) in a sample of 240 Portuguese preschool children using nearest neighbor observations. Next, we used additional behavioral observations and sociometric data to show that HMP and LMP subgroups are functionally distinct: HMP subgroups appear to reflect friendship relations, whereas LMP subgroups appear to reflect common social goals, but without strong, within-subgroup dyadic ties. Finally, we examined the longitudinal implications of subgroup membership and show that children classified as HMP in consecutive years had more reciprocated friendships than did children whose subgroup classification changed from LMP or ungrouped to HMP. These results extend previous findings reported for North American peer groups. PMID:26134139

  6. [Basic ethological considerations concerning the evaluation of the welfare of farm animals].

    PubMed

    Knierim, U

    2002-06-01

    In the assessment of husbandry conditions with regard to farm animal welfare the probability or risk is evaluated to which extent the animals are feeling well or are prone to pain, suffering or physical harm under the specific husbandry conditions. It is emphasised that well-being is more than merely the absence of pain, suffering and physical harm. Well-being is defined as the experience of the extent of being able to successfully cope with the environment. Consequently, any prevention to actively and successfully interact with the environment may impair animal well-being. This situation often arises because of conflicts between husbandry conditions and innate species-specific behaviour programs, regardless of any domestication effects on the reactivity of the farm animals to their environment. Based on these presumptions, four broad categories of influence on the well-being of animals are identified and exemplary explained. On the side of the environment these are the extent of (1) physical opportunity to perform species-specific behaviour, (2) availability of adequate stimuli and substrates for this behaviour and (3) adequate learning opportunities, especially during rearing. On the animals' side it is the extent of (4) their genetically based bodily capacity to perform species-specific behaviour. Less behavioural restriction is associated with the likelihood that better well-being is safeguarded under the aspect of behaviour. For a full assessment with respect to animal welfare also health aspects and other variables as appropriate must be taken into account. The assessment is comparative by nature and does not in itself include any conclusion about the acceptability of certain conditions. PMID:12125171

  7. A New Curriculum for Ethology and Student Skills in The Netherlands. Part 2: Innovation and Implementation Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jansen, Bram J.; Dijkstra, Maurits J.; Bloem, Alex

    1997-01-01

    Presents the case for employing an action research framework for curriculum development in The Netherlands. Argues that this bottom-up strategy can be effective because many teachers are willing to refine and modify their practices. (DDR)

  8. [A pharmaco-ethological study of the GABA-ergic mechanisms regulating the depression-like behavior of mice].

    PubMed

    Belozertseva, I V; Andreev, B V

    1997-01-01

    It is known that repeated stress may result in depression-like alterations of behavior. This behavior is characterized by decreased social exploratory activity and increase in occurrence of defensive postures in a social interaction test in mice. The passive defensive behavior is effectively antagonized by antidepressant drugs thus providing a useful animal model of depression. Effects of several GABAergic drugs were studied in opponent test in individually housed male mice. For two weeks preceding the test, mice were repeatedly exposed to foot shock stimulation and/or social confrontation with an aggressive mouse. Muscimol, a selective agonist of GABA(A) receptors, decreased the frequency and duration of defensive postures and increased the duration of some forms of individual activity (grooming and eating), like the agonist of GABA(B) receptors baclofen. Muscimol was the only compound that facilitated exploratory activity towards an unfamiliar partner and did not suppress the locomotion. Effects of another agonist of GABA(B) receptors phenibut and inhibitor of GABA transaminase valproate Na were less specific and consisted in general suppression of behavior (prevalence of static forms of behavior). It can be thought that GABA(A) receptors are essential for regulation of depression-like behavior of mice. PMID:9472168

  9. On the Ethology of Female Homo Sapiens Sapiens at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whittle, Christopher

    This study is a followup to the author's earlier study of the learning differences exhibited by museum exhibit visitors and seeks to discern the effects of the pathological cultural problems identified by other researchers in a science education setting. The setting for this followup study was the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.…

  10. The role of neighborhood relations in maintenance of the spatial-ethological structure of local settlements as exemplified by the water vole (Arvicola amphibius).

    PubMed

    Evsikov, V I; Muzyka, V Yu; Potapova, O F; Potapov, M A

    2016-07-01

    Adult males of the water vole have been found experimentally to recognize their neighbors and react to them differently depending on the degree of spatial proximity in nature. Most tensions (estimated by the number of aggressive acts in the encounters) were observed between distant neighbors (from neighboring settlements), which did not belong to the same groups with established hierarchy and a relatively reduced aggression. These are probably perceived as the most likely competitors (because of their spatial proximity). At the same time, male voles kept away from the obviously unfamiliar ones, though they do not express any apparent aggression. PMID:27595823

  11. Eco-ethological heterogeneity of the members of the Anopheles minimus complex (Diptera: Culicidae) in Southeast Asia and its consequences for vector control.

    PubMed

    Van Bortel, Wim; Trung, Ho Dinh; Sochantha, Tho; Keokenchan, Kalouna; Roelants, Patricia; Backeljau, Thierry; Coosemans, Marc

    2004-05-01

    The presence of cryptic species within Anopheles minimus s.l. Theobald, one of the most widespread malaria vectors in Southeast Asia, was suggested on the basis of behavioral heterogeneities observed within this taxon. Subsequently, two species, A and C, were recognized. However, the existence of these cryptic species did not explain all observed behavioral heterogeneities within this complex. Besides, data on the behavior of vectors are essential to understand the dynamics of disease transmission and thus evaluate the appropriateness of vector control measures. Different collection methods were used to collect Anopheles species from several localities in Southeast Asia to assess the inter- and intraspecific behavioral divergences of An. minimus A and C. Collection results were subjected to a correspondence analysis. The members of the An. minimus complex were identified by use of the octanol dehydrogenase allozyme profiles or the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay. Large intraspecific behavioral differences were observed among populations of An. minimus A. These populations belong to the same species on the basis of the applied genetic markers. In northern Vietnam, species A tended to be more zoophilic, whereas in the study sites of south central Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos it showed marked antropophilic behavior when cattle were scarce. In the most northern study site, An. minimus A showed noteworthy endophilic behavior. An. minimus C was primarily zoophilic and based on this behavior, its role in malaria transmission is questionable. However, it was only found in one locality, so that intraspecific behavioral variation could not be assessed. An. minimus A is able to change its host preference in function of local situations in host availability. Hence, its role in malaria transmission can differ from region to region. Similarly, the impact of vector control on this species may differ between localities. In conclusion, intraspecific behavioral differences in Anopheles species can occur and these behavioral heterogeneities, albeit important for disease transmission and control, are not a priori indicative for the presence of cryptic species. PMID:15185937

  12. Anti-aversive effects of cannabidiol on innate fear-induced behaviors evoked by an ethological model of panic attacks based on a prey vs the wild snake Epicrates cenchria crassus confrontation paradigm.

    PubMed

    Uribe-Mariño, Andrés; Francisco, Audrey; Castiblanco-Urbina, Maria Angélica; Twardowschy, André; Salgado-Rohner, Carlos José; Crippa, José Alexandre S; Hallak, Jaime Eduardo Cecílio; Zuardi, Antônio Waldo; Coimbra, Norberto Cysne

    2012-01-01

    Several pharmacological targets have been proposed as modulators of panic-like reactions. However, interest should be given to other potential therapeutic neurochemical agents. Recent attention has been given to the potential anxiolytic properties of cannabidiol, because of its complex actions on the endocannabinoid system together with its effects on other neurotransmitter systems. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of cannabidiol on innate fear-related behaviors evoked by a prey vs predator paradigm. Male Swiss mice were submitted to habituation in an arena containing a burrow and subsequently pre-treated with intraperitoneal administrations of vehicle or cannabidiol. A constrictor snake was placed inside the arena, and defensive and non-defensive behaviors were recorded. Cannabidiol caused a clear anti-aversive effect, decreasing explosive escape and defensive immobility behaviors outside and inside the burrow. These results show that cannabidiol modulates defensive behaviors evoked by the presence of threatening stimuli, even in a potentially safe environment following a fear response, suggesting a panicolytic effect. PMID:21918503

  13. Human Behavior: Do Animals Have the Answer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trotter, Robert J.

    1974-01-01

    Results of psychological experiments usinganimals are presented. Use of the animal-human analogy to generalize these findings to humans is discussed. Ethological studies are interpreted in light of the total environment and situation involved. The completeness of the ethological model compared to the animal-experimental model is discussed. (LS)

  14. Peer Group Formation in Young Children: Perception. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edelman, Murray S.

    This study is an attempt to integrate two theoretical approaches in child development: ethology and cognitive theory. An ethological approach suggests that children structure their social world hierarchically and are emotionally involved in perceiving and participating in interactions involving dominance. It is through this involvement that…

  15. Specialist Osmia Bees Forage Indiscriminately Among Hybridizing Balsamorhiza Floral Hosts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Even generalist pollinators are typically taxonomic specialists during individual foraging bouts. Such floral constancy restricts pollen flow, and thereby gene flow, between otherwise inter-fertile flowering species, thus serving as an ethological mating barrier. Among incipient species, however, ...

  16. Specialist Osmia bees forage indiscriminately among hybridizing Balsamorhiza floral hosts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Even generalist pollinators are typically taxonomic specialists during individual foraging bouts. Such floral constancy restricts pollen flow, and thereby gene flow, between otherwise inter-fertile flowering species, thus serving as an ethological mating barrier. Among incipient species, however, ...

  17. Visual Reinforcement in the Female Siamese Fighting Fish, "Betta Splendens"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elcoro, Mirari; da Silva, Stephanie P.; Lattal, Kennon A.

    2008-01-01

    Operant conditioning with "Betta splendens" ("Bettas") has been investigated extensively using males of the species. Ethological studies of female "Bettas" have revealed aggressive interactions that qualitatively parallel those between male "Bettas". Given these similarities, four experiments were conducted with female "Bettas" to examine the…

  18. The Assessment of Preterm Infants' Behavior (APIB): Furthering the Understanding and Measurement of Neurodevelopmental Competence in Preterm and Full-Term Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Als, Heidelise; Butler, Samantha; Kosta, Sandra; McAnulty, Gloria

    2005-01-01

    The Assessment of Preterm Infants' Behavior (APIB) is a newborn neurobehavioral assessment appropriate for preterm, at risk, and full-term newborns, from birth to 1 month after expected due date. The APIB is based in ethological--evolutionary thought and focuses on the assessment of mutually interacting behavioral subsystems in simultaneous…

  19. Children, Play, and Development. Fourth Edition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes, Fergus P.

    2010-01-01

    Children, Play, and Development, Fourth Edition, discusses the relationship of play to the physical, social, intellectual, and emotional growth of the child. Author Fergus P. Hughes focuses on the historical, sociocultural, and ethological context of play; the role of development in play; and the wide range of theories that provide a framework for…

  20. Exploring Ethograms in the Schoolyard: A Lesson on Animal Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graszer, Christina L.; Gnau, Katie; Melber, Leah M.

    2012-01-01

    This article highlights a core lesson that has been used in a number of Lincoln Park Zoo educational programs. The lesson teaches students to conduct an ethological, or animal behavior, study on a bird. This study can be implemented in a variety of outdoor settings, including a park, schoolyard, or zoo. Using an ethogram, students will practice…

  1. Role of Amygdala and Hippocampus in the Neural Circuit Subserving Conditioned Defeat in Syrian Hamsters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markham, Chris M.; Taylor, Stacie L.; Huhman, Kim L.

    2010-01-01

    We examined the roles of the amygdala and hippocampus in the formation of emotionally relevant memories using an ethological model of conditioned fear termed conditioned defeat (CD). Temporary inactivation of the ventral, but not dorsal hippocampus (VH, DH, respectively) using muscimol disrupted the acquisition of CD, whereas pretraining VH…

  2. Animal Navigation in the Classroom: Lessons from a Pilot Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fanini, Lucia

    2011-01-01

    In response to a direct request from science teachers, researchers initiated a pilot experience on animal orientation and navigation, which was delivered to 61 13-year-old students in Florence, Italy. The aim was to explain the approach to ethology and to link animal navigation with geography, focusing on species crossing the Italian territory.…

  3. Crying in the First Year: An Opertant Interpretation of the Bell and Ainsworth (1972) Findings. (sic)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parsley, Nancy J.; Rabinowitz, F. Michael

    1975-01-01

    Attempts to integrate the ethological interpretation of the Bell and Ainsworth findings on the promptness of mother reaction to infant crying, with operant laboratory infant research. Suggests an alternative operant interpretation based on the concept of counter conditioning. (Author/ED)

  4. Environmental Biology Programs at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getz, Lowell L.

    1987-01-01

    Describes the programs of the Department of Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). Focuses on the graduate degrees offered in environmental biology. Lists research interests and courses in plant biology, entomology, forestry, civil engineering, and landscape architecture. (TW)

  5. Imitation of Tongue Protrusion in Human Neonates: Specificity of the Response in a Large Sample

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagy, Emese; Pilling, Karen; Orvos, Hajnalka; Molnar, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Although a large body of evidence has accumulated on the young human infant's ability to imitate, the phenomenon has failed to gain unanimous acceptance. Imitation of tongue protrusion, the most tested gesture to date, was examined in a sample of 115 newborns in the first 5 days of life in 3 seating positions. An ethologically based…

  6. Emotional Development and Delay: The Child in the Context of the Family Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Nancy W.

    The paper reviews aspects of a young child's emotional development occurring in social interactions and discusses implications for children having, or at risk of having, emotional and behavioral problems. Contributions of ethology and ecology are cited in an examination of the child's interaction with the family. Research findings are reviewed on…

  7. Jean-Jacques Is Alive and Well: Rousseau and Contemporary Sociobiology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Masters, Roger D.

    1978-01-01

    A description of the author's personal fascination with and study of Rousseau's life. Discusses Rousseau's many questions that are relevant to evolutionary biology, sociobiology, anthropology, and ethology. Questions concern the nature of human nature, the origin of human society, nurture-nature influences on humans, and the nature of male-female…

  8. Ecological and Developmental Issues in the Practice of Educational Psychology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowler, Josephine

    2005-01-01

    This conceptual article examines what is meant by the term "ecological-contextual" in relation to the assessment of children's needs. Revisiting the discipline of ethology, the article applies the construct of niche to the human species, including examples from children's experiences to validate the relevance of this link. Issues of power…

  9. The Emergence of Interest in Social Interaction in Infancy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Alan

    The paper analyzes changes in conceptions of social interaction in infancy from a unidirectional process to a bidirectional one requiring dyadic analysis. Developments in the fields of ethology and comparative psychology are cited as are implications of early behaviorist research that pointed out the effects on the mother of the infant's behavior.…

  10. Contribution from Various Disciplines to Measurement and Evaluation in Early Childhood Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodwin, William L.

    1982-01-01

    Actual and potential contributions from the fields of anthropology, sociology, ecological and environmental psychology, and ethology to measurement and evaluation, particularly in early childhood education, are discussed. The diversity and potency of these approaches suggest that a multidisciplinary, eclectic approach to finding measures for…

  11. It's Time to Challenge the Gifted: Some Tested Lessons, K-9.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minnesota State Dept. of Education, St. Paul. Div. of Instruction.

    Presented is a guide designed for teachers who have gifted students. Lessons designed for the gifted student are suggested. More than a dozen sample lessons are provided. Lesson titles include: Folk Songs, Geometry, Graphing Leaves, Creating a Nature Trail, The New Science of Ethology, and Original Research. In addition to the lessons, advice for…

  12. Behavioral Science and the Teaching of Human Values.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pugh, George E.

    1980-01-01

    When the findings of sociobiology and ethology are properly interpreted, they are surprisingly compatible with commonsense ethical values, adding to our understanding of moral and ethical principles as an essential element of human social behavior. This paper provides a brief overview of the broader scientific interpretation to illustrate this…

  13. The myth of the aggressive monkey.

    PubMed

    Reinhardt, Viktor

    2002-01-01

    Captive rhesus macaques are not naturally aggressive, but poor husbandry and handling practices can trigger their aggression toward conspecifics and toward the human handler. The myth of the aggressive monkey probably is based on often not taking into account basic ethological principles when managing rhesus macaques in the research laboratory setting. PMID:16221082

  14. Six Species of Signs: Some Propositions and Strictures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sebeok, Thomas A.

    1975-01-01

    Deals with the relationship existing between the signifier and the signified components of signs, and with problems in the definition of signs. It is also concerned with recognizing the relationship of semiotics to developmental psychology and ethology. (Available from Semiotica, Co-Libri, P.O. Box 482, The Hague 2076, The Netherlands)

  15. Peer Preferences of At-Risk and Normally Developing Children in a Preschool Mainstream Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cavallaro, Sahli A.; Porter, Richard H.

    1980-01-01

    Social interactions and peer preferences in a preschool mainstream classroom containing 20 normally developing and at-risk children were studied, using the ethological method of direct observation. Data on social play and gaze orientation indicated that normally developing children and at-risk children interacted primarily with children from their…

  16. Evolution and Parenting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bardwick, Judith M.

    1974-01-01

    Reviews the theory and research on the physiological or genetic origins of parenting behavior, noting that an ethological or evolutionary analysis of parenting behavior supports the idea that primates, including man, have evolved psychological structures which are particularly adapted to respond to cues from young children. (Author/JM)

  17. Attachment and Social Problem Solving in Juvenile Delinquents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathew, Saritha S.; And Others

    This study investigates characteristics of juvenile delinquency and youth violence by examining attachment and social problem skills. Attachment theory integrates features of psychoanalytic theory, ethology, and cognitive psychology. Research on adolescent attachment suggests that parents continue to function as a secure base for their teenage…

  18. On the Shortcomings of Our Organisational Forms: With Implications for Educational Change and School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waite, Duncan

    2010-01-01

    This article informs school improvement and educational change from a radically different perspective. Building upon work done recently in neural psychology, primatology and ethology, the article examines four common and general types of organisational form: the cell, the silo, the pyramidal, and the network types of organisational structures.…

  19. The Ontogenesis of Social Dominance: A Strategy-Based Evolutionary Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawley, Patricia H.

    1999-01-01

    Reintroduces the ethological concept of social dominance, and interprets it from a strategy-based perspective. Maintains that, by adopting this approach to social dominance and explicitly incorporating developmental processes and uniquely human capacities, human social-dominance patterns appear to be more similar to primate patterns than commonly…

  20. "A Human Ethogram: Its Scientific Acceptability and Importance." A Treatise Assessing Modern Theories of Personality Development and Proposing a New Comprehensive Theory of Behavior and Behavioral Development, key chapters and sections.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jesness, Bradley

    Written by a methodological behaviorist, this treatise critiques neo-Hullian, Freudian, Eriksonian, and Piagetian theories and presents an ethological perspective on behavior and personality development. The critique is extended to cover social learning, cognitive-developmental, neo-Freudian, and Skinnerian theories, as well as the ideas of…

  1. The Non-Verbal Behavior of Children in a Listening Situation; Theoretical Implications and Practical Applications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    von Raffler-Engel, Walburga

    The present paper is part of a long range research project in Developmental Kinesics. The gist of the project is empirical: the object is to find out what happens rather than look for anything in particular or test a hypothesis. The methodology for the analysis is ethological in approach. Empirical observations are carefully described.…

  2. Proxemics and Kinesics of Adolescents in Dual-Gender Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Terneus, Sandra K.; Malone, Yvonne

    2004-01-01

    Ethological research indicates that during courtship, men and women usually communicate their interests via body language and interpersonal space (kinesics and proxemics). Many studies have validated the usage of kinesics and the ebb and flow of proximity during the process of courtship. Although the majority of studies have focused on young…

  3. [I. P. Pavlov and K. Lorenz].

    PubMed

    Gorokhovskaia, E A

    2000-01-01

    In the thirtieth, the founder of ethology Austrian zoologist Konrad Lorenz put forward the new theory of behavior, which was met with considerable resistance of the dominant views on the mechanisms of behavior, including Pavlov's concept. From his first theoretical works and later on Lorenz debated with Pavlov. However, these debates were not reduced to a disagreement. He appreciated greatly the scientific contribution of Pavlov, and the ideas of the Russian physiologist were often the starting point of his own speculations. His polemics with Pavlov differed very much from his uncompromising controversies with behaviorists. When Lorenz compared Pavlov's views with behaviorism, he often preferred Pavlov's ideas. Lorenz also draw some parallels between the Pavlov's understanding of behavior and the ethological approach. Lorenz's discussion with Pavlov about the nature of conditioned reflex is of particular interest, since it stimulated Lorenz to develop the theory of this phenomenon. PMID:10750201

  4. Using chronic social stress to model postpartum depression in lactating rodents.

    PubMed

    Carini, Lindsay M; Murgatroyd, Christopher A; Nephew, Benjamin C

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to chronic stress is a reliable predictor of depressive disorders, and social stress is a common ethologically relevant stressor in both animals and humans. However, many animal models of depression were developed in males and are not applicable or effective in studies of postpartum females. Recent studies have reported significant effects of chronic social stress during lactation, an ethologically relevant and effective stressor, on maternal behavior, growth, and behavioral neuroendocrinology. This manuscript will describe this chronic social stress paradigm using repeated exposure of a lactating dam to a novel male intruder, and the assessment of the behavioral, physiological, and neuroendocrine effects of this model. Chronic social stress (CSS) is a valuable model for studying the effects of stress on the behavior and physiology of the dam as well as her offspring and future generations. The exposure of pups to CSS can also be used as an early life stress that has long term effects on behavior, physiology, and neuroendocrinology. PMID:23792810

  5. Collective behaviour across animal species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delellis, Pietro; Polverino, Giovanni; Ustuner, Gozde; Abaid, Nicole; Macrì, Simone; Bollt, Erik M.; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2014-01-01

    We posit a new geometric perspective to define, detect, and classify inherent patterns of collective behaviour across a variety of animal species. We show that machine learning techniques, and specifically the isometric mapping algorithm, allow the identification and interpretation of different types of collective behaviour in five social animal species. These results offer a first glimpse at the transformative potential of machine learning for ethology, similar to its impact on robotics, where it enabled robots to recognize objects and navigate the environment.

  6. Behavioural Profiles in Captive-Bred Cynomolgus Macaques: Towards Monkey Models of Mental Disorders?

    PubMed Central

    Camus, Sandrine M. J.; Blois-Heulin, Catherine; Li, Qin; Hausberger, Martine; Bezard, Erwan

    2013-01-01

    Background To date, experimental and preclinical studies on neuropsychiatric conditions have almost exclusively been performed in experimentally-induced animal models and have only rarely relied upon an ethological approach where animals have been observed in more naturalistic settings. The laboratory species of choice has been the rodent while the potential of more closely-related non-human primates have remained largely underexplored. Methods The present study, therefore, aimed at investigating the possible existence of spontaneous atypical/abnormal behaviours displayed by 40 cynomolgus macaques in captive conditions using an unbiased ethological scan-sampling analysis followed by multifactorial correspondence analysis and a hierarchical clustering. Results The study identified five distinct profiles (groups A to E) that significantly differed on several behaviours, body postures, body orientations, gaze directions and locations in the cage environment. We suggest that animals from the low n groups (D and E) present depressive-like and anxious-like symptoms, reminiscent of depressive and generalized anxiety disorders. Inter-individual differences were highlighted through unbiased ethological observations of spontaneous behaviours and associated parameters, although these were not associated with differences in plasma or cerebrospinal fluid levels of either stress-related hormones or monoamines, i.e. in accordance with the human situation. Conclusions No interventional behavioural testing was required to discriminate between 3 typical and 2 atypical ethologically-defined behavioural profiles, reminiscent of certain depressive-like and anxiety-like symptoms. The use of unbiased behavioural observations might, thus, allow the identification of animal models of human mental/behavioural disorders and their most appropriate control groups. PMID:23658620

  7. Compendium of crane behavior. Part 1: Individual (nonsocial) behavior

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellis, D.H.; Archibald, G.W.; Swengel, S.R.; Kepler, C.B.

    1991-01-01

    This paper provides the organizational framework, nomenclature, and abbreviated descriptions for all conspicuous nonsocial behavioral units for all 15 species of crane. We present eight generalized functional classes of behavior. These classes include about 90 discrete motor patterns that constitute the nonsocial repertoire of all cranes. We present this compendium to facilitate information exchanges among students of crane behavior and to encourage interest in future detailed studies of the descriptive ethology of each species.

  8. Macaques exhibit a naturally-occurring depression similar to humans.

    PubMed

    Xu, Fan; Wu, Qingyuan; Xie, Liang; Gong, Wei; Zhang, Jianguo; Zheng, Peng; Zhou, Qinmin; Ji, Yongjia; Wang, Tao; Li, Xin; Fang, Liang; Li, Qi; Yang, Deyu; Li, Juan; Melgiri, Narayan D; Shively, Carol; Xie, Peng

    2015-01-01

    Rodent models have dominated preclinical investigations into the mechanisms of depression. However, these models-which rely on subjecting individual rodents to physical stressors - do not realistically resemble the etiopathological development of depression, which occurs naturally in a social context. A non-human primate model that better reflects the social ethological aspects of depression would be more advantageous to investigating pathophysiological mechanisms and developing antidepressant therapeutics. Here, we describe and model a naturally-occurring depressive state in a non-human primate species, the cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis), in a realistic social ethological context and associate the depressed behavioral phenotype with significant serum metabolic perturbations. One to two subjects per stable social colony (17-22 subjects) manifested a depressive phenotype that may be attributed to psychosocial stress. In accordance with rodent and human studies, the serum metabolic phenotype of depressed and healthy subjects significantly differed, supporting the model's face validity. However, application of the fast-acting antidepressant ketamine failed to demonstrate predictive validity. This study proposes a non-human primate depression model in a realistic social ethological context that can better approximate the psychosocial stressors underlying depression. PMID:25783476

  9. Science-based assessment of animal welfare: companion animals.

    PubMed

    Odendaal, J S J

    2005-08-01

    Human history reveals that the way in which humans treat animals is based on their views of themselves as well as of the living environment around them. These views may vary from an assumption of human superiority to one of equality between humans and animals. Recent trends affecting companion-animal welfare are: modern philosophies on animal issues, the specialised and varied roles that companion animals play in modern societies, new results from animal neuroscience, human-animal interaction studies and the new profession of companion animal ethology. This paper concludes that applied ethology could provide science-based criteria to assess companion-animal welfare. Due to the integral part that companion animals play in human societies, the paper is divided into an animal component that deals with the animal's basic needs and its ability to adapt, and a human component assessing the living environment of animals as provided by humans and responsible companion-animal ownership. The greatest challenge for future research is to find ways to disseminate knowledge of companion animal ethology to companion animal owners. PMID:16358503

  10. Macaques Exhibit a Naturally-Occurring Depression Similar to Humans

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Fan; Wu, Qingyuan; Xie, Liang; Gong, Wei; Zhang, Jianguo; Zheng, Peng; Zhou, Qinmin; Ji, Yongjia; Wang, Tao; Li, Xin; Fang, Liang; Li, Qi; Yang, Deyu; Li, Juan; Melgiri, Narayan D.; Shively, Carol; Xie, Peng

    2015-01-01

    Rodent models have dominated preclinical investigations into the mechanisms of depression. However, these models-which rely on subjecting individual rodents to physical stressors - do not realistically resemble the etiopathological development of depression, which occurs naturally in a social context. A non-human primate model that better reflects the social ethological aspects of depression would be more advantageous to investigating pathophysiological mechanisms and developing antidepressant therapeutics. Here, we describe and model a naturally-occurring depressive state in a non-human primate species, the cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis), in a realistic social ethological context and associate the depressed behavioral phenotype with significant serum metabolic perturbations. One to two subjects per stable social colony (17–22 subjects) manifested a depressive phenotype that may be attributed to psychosocial stress. In accordance with rodent and human studies, the serum metabolic phenotype of depressed and healthy subjects significantly differed, supporting the model's face validity. However, application of the fast-acting antidepressant ketamine failed to demonstrate predictive validity. This study proposes a non-human primate depression model in a realistic social ethological context that can better approximate the psychosocial stressors underlying depression. PMID:25783476

  11. What Use Is Science to Animal Welfare?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, A. J. F.

    1998-06-01

    My concern is to question the quality and utility of science in general and ethology in particular as applied to animal welfare. This topic has in the past provoked me to some severe criticism, for example, 'A lot of well-intended welfare research is neither very good science nor very helpful to the animals.... Too much welfare research is (in my opinion) flawed either because it is oversimplistic, or because it is not so much designed to test preconceptions but to reinforce prejudice' (Webster 1994). Dawkins (1997) has recently responded to this challenge, addressing the question 'Why has there not been more progress in welfare research?' Her response is concerned largely with applied ethology. My own criticism was not directed at ethologists in particular. I was more concerned by the misuse of scientific method by those who seek to obtain a so-called 'objective' measurement of something which they preconceive to be a stress (e.g. measurement of plasma concentrations of cortisol or endorphins in animals following transportation). Here the 'objective' measure frequently becomes the test that gives the answer that they want, and if it fails, then they seek other 'objective' markers until they achieve a set of measurements that supports the subjective impression which they had at the outset. My second main concern is that the welfare state of a sentient animal is a very complex affair and cannot be embraced by any single scientific discipline, be it ethology, physiology, molecular or neurobiology. Unfortunately it is also too complex to be embraced by a single-sentence definition. The best I can do is to suggest that it is determined by the capacity of an animal to sustain physical fitness and avoid mental suffering. The assessment of this is necessarily multidisciplinary.

  12. Criteria of validity for animal models of psychiatric disorders: focus on anxiety disorders and depression.

    PubMed

    Belzung, Catherine; Lemoine, Maël

    2011-01-01

    Animal models of psychiatric disorders are usually discussed with regard to three criteria first elaborated by Willner; face, predictive and construct validity. Here, we draw the history of these concepts and then try to redraw and refine these criteria, using the framework of the diathesis model of depression that has been proposed by several authors. We thus propose a set of five major criteria (with sub-categories for some of them); homological validity (including species validity and strain validity), pathogenic validity (including ontopathogenic validity and triggering validity), mechanistic validity, face validity (including ethological and biomarker validity) and predictive validity (including induction and remission validity). Homological validity requires that an adequate species and strain be chosen: considering species validity, primates will be considered to have a higher score than drosophila, and considering strains, a high stress reactivity in a strain scores higher than a low stress reactivity in another strain. Pathological validity corresponds to the fact that, in order to shape pathological characteristics, the organism has been manipulated both during the developmental period (for example, maternal separation: ontopathogenic validity) and during adulthood (for example, stress: triggering validity). Mechanistic validity corresponds to the fact that the cognitive (for example, cognitive bias) or biological mechanisms (such as dysfunction of the hormonal stress axis regulation) underlying the disorder are identical in both humans and animals. Face validity corresponds to the observable behavioral (ethological validity) or biological (biomarker validity) outcomes: for example anhedonic behavior (ethological validity) or elevated corticosterone (biomarker validity). Finally, predictive validity corresponds to the identity of the relationship between the triggering factor and the outcome (induction validity) and between the effects of the treatments

  13. Translational science in action: Hostile attributional style and the development of aggressive behavior problems

    PubMed Central

    Dodge, Kenneth A.

    2009-01-01

    A model of the development of hostile attributional style and its role in children's aggressive behavior is proposed, based on the translation of basic science in ethology, neuroscience, social psychology, personality psychology, and developmental psychology. Theory and findings from these domains are reviewed and synthesized in the proposed model, which posits that (a) aggressive behavior and hostile attributions are universal human characteristics, (b) socialization leads to the development of benign attributions, (c) individual differences in attributional style account for differences in aggressive behavior, and (d) interventions to change attributions have the potential to alter antisocial development. Challenges for future research are described. PMID:17152401

  14. Revisiting the concept of behavior patterns in animal behavior with an example from food-caching sequences in wolves (Canis lupus), coyotes (Canis latrans), and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    PubMed

    Gadbois, Simon; Sievert, Olivia; Reeve, Catherine; Harrington, F H; Fentress, J C

    2015-01-01

    We discuss the history, conceptualization, and relevance of behavior patterns in modern ethology by explaining the evolution of the concepts of fixed action patterns and modal action patterns. We present the movement toward a more flexible concept of natural action sequences with significant degrees of (production and expressive) freedom. An example is presented with the food caching behavior of three Canidae species: red fox (Vulpes vulpes), coyote (Canis latrans) and gray wolf (Canis lupus). Evolutionary, ecological, and neuroecological/neuroethological arguments are presented to explain the difference in levels of complexity and stereotypy between Canis and Vulpes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Canine Behavior. PMID:25446624

  15. Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Migratory Behavior of Ungulates Using Isotopic Analysis of Tooth Enamel and Its Effects on Forager Mobility.

    PubMed

    Pilaar Birch, Suzanne E; Miracle, Preston T; Stevens, Rhiannon E; O'Connell, Tamsin C

    2016-01-01

    Zooarchaeological and paleoecological investigations have traditionally been unable to reconstruct the ethology of herd animals, which likely had a significant influence on the mobility and subsistence strategies of prehistoric humans. In this paper, we reconstruct the migratory behavior of red deer (Cervus elaphus) and caprids at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the northeastern Adriatic region using stable oxygen isotope analysis of tooth enamel. The data show a significant change in δ18O values from the Pleistocene into the Holocene, as well as isotopic variation between taxa, the case study sites, and through time. We then discuss the implications of seasonal faunal availability as determining factors in human mobility patterns. PMID:27275784

  16. Called home: The creation of family life.

    PubMed

    Hutch, R A

    1992-09-01

    Engendering family life is a spiritual process (theosis) based on human ethological constants of gender difference and generational turnover. Recent studies on ethnicity suggest that such a process retrieves a primordial sense of the human species as a whole, "humankind." Families, especially in this broad sense, link together the living and the dead and, at their best, morally empower individuals who link their destinies to such a vision of creation and human health. Reference is made to work on human strengths and speciation by Erik Erikson and to that on maternal thinking by Sara Ruddick. A political program by which an ideology of "familism" can be made is offered. PMID:24271052

  17. Ants Can Expect the Time of an Event on Basis of Previous Experiences.

    PubMed

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire; Cammaerts, Roger

    2016-01-01

    Working on three ant species of the genus Myrmica, M. ruginodis, M. rubra, and M. sabuleti, we showed that foragers can expect the subsequent time at which food will be available on the basis of the previous times at which food was present. The ants acquired this expectative ability right after having experienced two time shifts of food delivery. Moreover, the ants' learning score appeared to be a logarithmic function of time (i.e., of the number of training days). This ability to expect subsequent times at which an event will occur may be an advantageous ethological trait. PMID:27403457

  18. The squirrel monkey as a candidate for space flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brizzee, K. R.; Ordy, J. M.; Kaack, B.

    1977-01-01

    Because of its size and other unique diurnal-primate characteristics, the squirrel monkey is used in: (1) actual bioflight missions, (2) in laboratory tests designed to clarify the risks to man during launch and recovery as well as in hazardous spaceflight environments; and (3) in the acquisition of data on unknown risks encountered in long duration space exploration. Pertinent data concerning samiri sciureus as described in published and unpublished reports are summarized. Topics include: taxonomy, ethology, life history, sensory-learning-motor capabilities in primate perspective, anatomy and physiology (including homeostatic adaptation to stress), susceptibility to environmental hazards, reproduction, care and clinical management, and previous use in aerospace biomedical research.

  19. Collective behaviour across animal species

    PubMed Central

    DeLellis, Pietro; Polverino, Giovanni; Ustuner, Gozde; Abaid, Nicole; Macrì, Simone; Bollt, Erik M.; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2014-01-01

    We posit a new geometric perspective to define, detect, and classify inherent patterns of collective behaviour across a variety of animal species. We show that machine learning techniques, and specifically the isometric mapping algorithm, allow the identification and interpretation of different types of collective behaviour in five social animal species. These results offer a first glimpse at the transformative potential of machine learning for ethology, similar to its impact on robotics, where it enabled robots to recognize objects and navigate the environment. PMID:24430561

  20. To Act or Not to Act: Endocannabinoid/Dopamine Interactions in Decision-Making

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Giovanni; Cheer, Joseph F.

    2015-01-01

    Decision-making is an ethologically adaptive construct that is impaired in multiple psychiatric disorders. Activity within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system has been traditionally associated with decision-making. The endocannabinoid system through its actions on inhibitory and excitatory synapses modulates dopamine activity and decision-making. The aim of this brief review is to present a synopsis of available data obtained when the endocannabinoid system is manipulated and dopamine activity recorded. To this end, we review research using different behavioral paradigms to provide further insight into how this ubiquitous signaling system biases dopamine-related behaviors to regulate decision-making. PMID:26733830

  1. Ants Can Expect the Time of an Event on Basis of Previous Experiences

    PubMed Central

    Cammaerts, Roger

    2016-01-01

    Working on three ant species of the genus Myrmica, M. ruginodis, M. rubra, and M. sabuleti, we showed that foragers can expect the subsequent time at which food will be available on the basis of the previous times at which food was present. The ants acquired this expectative ability right after having experienced two time shifts of food delivery. Moreover, the ants' learning score appeared to be a logarithmic function of time (i.e., of the number of training days). This ability to expect subsequent times at which an event will occur may be an advantageous ethological trait. PMID:27403457

  2. Some Properties of Transforms in Cultural Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballonoff, Paul

    2010-12-01

    It is shown that, in certain circumstances, systems of cultural rules may be represented by doubly stochastic matrices denoted Π, called “possibility transforms,” and by certain real valued “possibility densities” π=( π 1, π 2,…, π n ) with inner product <π,πrangle=sumiπi2=1. We may characterize a certain problem of ethnographic or ethological description as a problem of prediction, in which observations are predicted by properties of fixed points of transforms of “pure systems”, or by properties of convex combinations of such “pure systems”. Other relationships to quantum methods are noted.

  3. Cap-shaped gastropods from Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous deposits of northern East Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzhov, A. V.; Zakharov, V. A.

    2015-09-01

    Cap-shaped gastropods are first identified in Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous sections of northern East Siberia. They belong to three new genera of the subclass Pectinibranchia ( Boreioconus gen. nov., Nixepileolus gen. nov., and Taimyroconus gen. nov.), which are identified at the species level ( B. bojarkensis sp. nov., N. depressus sp. nov., T. zakharovi sp. nov.), and several species with the open nomenclature. The genus Taimyroconus attributed to the family Calyptraeidae is considered as an ancestral form of the genus Crepidula. The stratigraphic position of each taxon is determined for several sections. The facies confinement, habitat conditions, and ethology of defined genera are considered with the analysis of their geographic distribution.

  4. Interview with daniel C. Dennett.

    PubMed

    1995-01-01

    Daniel Dennett was educated at Harvard and Oxford, receiving his D.Phil. in 1965. After six years at University of California Irvine, he moved to Tufts, where he is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies. It is the author of articles on many issues in artificial intelligence, psychology, and cognitive ethology, as well as in philosophy. His books are Content and Consciousness (1969), Brainstorms (1978), The Mind's I (with Douglas Hofstadter, 1981). Elbow Room (1984), The Intentional Stance (1987), and Consciousness Explained (1991). His new book, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, will be published by Simon & Schuster in spring, 1995. PMID:23961869

  5. [Formation of probabilistic structure of motor behavior in bottlenose dolphins in captivity].

    PubMed

    Chechina, O N; Kondrat'eva, N L

    2009-01-01

    A probabilistic structure of the motor behavior was analyzed in dolphin calves Tursiops truncatus in the prenatal period and adult dolphins in an oceanarium. Ethograms were recorded and subjected to a computer analysis. Ranking probabilities of transitions between behavioral acts revealed a highly determined sequence of operations underlying the newborn dolphins' behavior. The principle of formation of the variation ethologic structures providing a contact between a developing organism and the environment was determined. The results are discussed in terms of the concept of the informational brain-environment interaction. PMID:19947534

  6. Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Migratory Behavior of Ungulates Using Isotopic Analysis of Tooth Enamel and Its Effects on Forager Mobility

    PubMed Central

    Pilaar Birch, Suzanne E.; Miracle, Preston T.; Stevens, Rhiannon E.; O’Connell, Tamsin C.

    2016-01-01

    Zooarchaeological and paleoecological investigations have traditionally been unable to reconstruct the ethology of herd animals, which likely had a significant influence on the mobility and subsistence strategies of prehistoric humans. In this paper, we reconstruct the migratory behavior of red deer (Cervus elaphus) and caprids at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the northeastern Adriatic region using stable oxygen isotope analysis of tooth enamel. The data show a significant change in δ18O values from the Pleistocene into the Holocene, as well as isotopic variation between taxa, the case study sites, and through time. We then discuss the implications of seasonal faunal availability as determining factors in human mobility patterns. PMID:27275784

  7. Eye color as an indicator of behavior: revisiting Worthy and Scott.

    PubMed

    Elias, Vicky L; Nicolas, Cindy L; Abramson, Charles I

    2008-06-01

    Phenotypic eye color has been suggested as an indicator of genetic predisposition toward certain behaviors both in humans and in animals. Previous research has yielded mixed results. Phototaxic and ethological behaviors were examined in 14 different strains of Drosophila melanogaster. No significant correlation between phenotypic eye coloration and behavior was found, although significant genotypical behavioral differences were noted even among subjects with similar eye colors. An analysis of cellular defects associated with eye color in D. melanogaster pointed to significant behavioral differences among cell-defect groups, indicating that the cell defect which causes eye color, rather than eye color itself, may serve as a crude indicator of behavior. PMID:18763448

  8. World, environment, Umwelt, and innerworld: a biological perspective on visual awareness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenderink, Jan J.

    2013-03-01

    The world is all physical reality (Higgs bosons, and so forth), the "environment" is a geographical locality (your city, …), the "Umwelt" is the totality of possible actions of the environment on the sensitive body surface of an agent (you, your dog, …) and the possible actions of the agent on the environment (mechanical, chemical, …), whereas the "innerworld" is what it is for the agent to be, that is awareness. Awareness is pre-personal, proto-conscious, and (perhaps) proto-rational. The various "worlds" described above are on distinct ontological levels. The world, and the environment are studied in the exact sciences, the Umwelt is studied by physiology and ethology. Ethology is like behavioristic psychology, with the difference that it applies to all animals. It skips the innerworld, e.g., it considers speech to be a movement of air molecules.The innerworld can only be known through first person reports, thus is intrinsically subjective. It can only be approached through "experimental phenomenology", which is based on intersubjectivity among humans. In this setting speech may mean something in addition to the movements of molecules. These views lead to a model of vision as an "optical user interface". It has consequences for many applications.

  9. Breed-specific companions--inter-individual distances reflect isolating mechanisms within domesticated chickens (Gallus gallus f.d.).

    PubMed

    Tiemann, Inga; Rehkämper, Gerd

    2008-06-15

    White Crested Polish (WCP) chickens are an interesting breed because of skull anatomy (crest), brain size and composition. This makes them attractive to investigate processes of selection that could parallel a step towards speciation in terms of ethological isolation. Lohmann Brown Classic (BL) and Red Leghorn (RL) were selected as comparative breeds to detect whether WCPs flock together as shown by shorter inter-individual distances within WCP than across breeds. WCP and BL were observed in the first year whereas RL served as comparative breed to WCP in the second year. Eggs of both breeds of each year were incubated at the same time, and chicks hatched and were raised together. Three young hens of each breed were randomly chosen and observed weekly in an open field situation for 20 min between the first and 31st week of life. Intra-breed distances differed significantly from those distances measured across breeds. Results demonstrate breed-specific flocking within observed breeds. This flocking behaviour may reflect breed-specific social and sexual preferences. Our observations indicate that domestic breeds may represent an ethological entity. Selective processes controlled by human intervention as given in domestication may therefore to be set in parallel to evolutionary processes. PMID:18498945

  10. Birth Origin Differentially Affects Depressive-Like Behaviours: Are Captive-Born Cynomolgus Monkeys More Vulnerable to Depression than Their Wild-Born Counterparts?

    PubMed Central

    Camus, Sandrine MJ.; Rochais, Céline; Blois-Heulin, Catherine; Li, Qin; Hausberger, Martine; Bezard, Erwan

    2013-01-01

    Background Adverse early-life experience might lead to the expression of abnormal behaviours in animals and the predisposition to psychiatric disorder (e.g. major depressive disorder) in Humans. Common breeding processes employ weaning and housing conditions different from what happens in the wild. Methods The present study, therefore, investigated whether birth origin impacts the possible existence of spontaneous atypical/abnormal behaviours displayed by 40 captive-born and 40 wild-born socially-housed cynomolgus macaques in farming conditions using an unbiased ethological scan-sampling analysis followed by multifactorial correspondence and hierarchical clustering analyses. Results We identified 10 distinct profiles (groups A to J) that significantly differed on several behaviours, body postures, body orientations, distances between individuals and locations in the cage. Data suggest that 4 captive-born and 1 wild-born animals (groups G and J) present depressive-like symptoms, unnatural early life events thereby increasing the risk of developing pathological symptoms. General differences were also highlighted between the captive- and wild-born populations, implying the expression of differential coping mechanisms in response to the same captive environment. Conclusions Birth origin thus impacts the development of atypical ethologically-defined behavioural profiles, reminiscent of certain depressive-like symptoms. The use of unbiased behavioural observations might allow the identification of animal models of human mental/behavioural disorders and their most appropriate control groups. PMID:23861787

  11. Environmental enrichment as a therapeutic avenue for anxiety in aged Wistar rats: Effect on cat odor exposition and GABAergic interneurons.

    PubMed

    Sampedro-Piquero, P; Castilla-Ortega, E; Zancada-Menendez, C; Santín, L J; Begega, A

    2016-08-25

    The use of more ethological animal models to study the neurobiology of anxiety has increased in recent years. We assessed the effect of an environmental enrichment (EE) protocol (24h/day over a period of two months) on anxiety-related behaviors when aged Wistar rats (21months old) were confronted with cat odor stimuli. Owing to the relationship between GABAergic interneurons and the anxiety-related neuronal network, we examined changes in the expression of Parvalbumin (PV) and 67kDa form of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD-67) immunoreactive cells in different brain regions involved in stress response. Behavioral results revealed that enriched rats traveled further and made more grooming behaviors during the habituation session. In the cat odor session, they traveled longer distances and they showed more active interaction with the odor stimuli and less time in freezing behavior. Zone analysis revealed that the enriched group spent more time in the intermediate zone according to the proximity of the predator odor. Regarding the neurobiological data, the EE increased the expression of PV-positive cells in some medial prefrontal regions (cingulate (Cg) and prelimbic (PL) cortices), whereas the GAD-67 expression in the basolateral amygdala was reduced in the enriched group. Our results suggest that EE is able to reduce anxiety-like behaviors in aged animals even when ethologically relevant stimuli are used. Moreover, GABAergic interneurons could be involved in mediating this resilient behavior. PMID:27235742

  12. Molecular Organization of Vomeronasal Chemoreception

    PubMed Central

    Isogai, Yoh; Si, Sheng; Pont-Lezica, Lorena; Tan, Taralyn; Kapoor, Vikrant; Murthy, Venkatesh N.; Dulac, Catherine

    2011-01-01

    The vomeronasal organ (VNO) plays a key role in mediating the social and defensive responses of many terrestrial vertebrates to species- and sex-specific chemosignals1. Over 250 putative pheromone receptors have been identified in the mouse VNO2,3, but the nature of the signals detected by individual VNO receptors has not yet been elucidated. In order to gain insight into the molecular logic of VNO detection leading to mating, aggression, or defensive responses, we sought to uncover the response profiles of individual vomeronasal receptors to a wide range of animal cues. We describe here the repertoire of ethological and physiological stimuli detected by a large number of individual vomeronasal receptors, and define a global map of vomeronasal signal detection. We demonstrate that the two classes of vomeronasal receptors V1Rs and V2Rs use fundamentally different strategies to encode chemosensory information, and that distinct receptor subfamilies have evolved towards the specific recognition of certain animal groups or chemical structures. The association of large subsets of vomeronasal receptors with cognate, ethologically and physiologically relevant stimuli establishes the molecular foundation of vomeronasal information coding, and opens new avenues for further investigating the neural mechanisms underlying behavior specificity. PMID:21937988

  13. Defectors cannot be detected during"small talk" with strangers.

    PubMed

    Manson, Joseph H; Gervais, Matthew M; Kline, Michelle A

    2013-01-01

    To account for the widespread human tendency to cooperate in one-shot social dilemmas, some theorists have proposed that cooperators can be reliably detected based on ethological displays that are difficult to fake. Experimental findings have supported the view that cooperators can be distinguished from defectors based on "thin slices" of behavior, but the relevant cues have remained elusive, and the role of the judge's perspective remains unclear. In this study, we followed triadic conversations among unacquainted same-sex college students with unannounced dyadic one-shot prisoner's dilemmas, and asked participants to guess the PD decisions made toward them and among the other two participants. Two other sets of participants guessed the PD decisions after viewing videotape of the conversations, either with foreknowledge (informed), or without foreknowledge (naïve), of the post-conversation PD. Only naïve video viewers approached better-than-chance prediction accuracy, and they were significantly accurate at predicting the PD decisions of only opposite-sexed conversation participants. Four ethological displays recently proposed to cue defection in one-shot social dilemmas (arms crossed, lean back, hand touch, and face touch) failed to predict either actual defection or guesses of defection by any category of observer. Our results cast doubt on the role of "greenbeard" signals in the evolution of human prosociality, although they suggest that eavesdropping may be more informative about others' cooperative propensities than direct interaction. PMID:24358201

  14. The swimming behavior of Artemia (Anostraca): new experimental and observational data.

    PubMed

    Anufriieva, Elena V; Shadrin, Nickolai V

    2014-12-01

    Artemia (Anostraca) is among the most primitive and ancient groups of crustaceans. Artemia spp. play a dominant role in the ecosystems of hypersaline waters, and often they are the only animals in these extreme biotopes. Most ethological studies on Artemia have been conducted on nauplii and metanauplii. We made ethological observations on Artemia under laboratory conditions and in the natural waters of Crimea, where we studied growth and ontogenetic changes of swimming behavior. Growth occurred during the first 50 days up to a size of 9.5-10.5mm, after which time the size did not increase (some females lived up to 6.5 months). A strong positive relation was found between maximal speed and individual length, which varied between 0.4 and 10.5mm; it may be approximated by the power equation: Vmax=1.205·K(0.820), where Vmax is the maximal speed of Artemia (in mms(-1)) of the length K (in mm). There is no similar relation between average speed and length of Artemia. The average speed of adults was 40-60% lower in environments with microalgae compared to media without food. The duration of the "riding position" for mating pairs of Artemia urmiana in our experiments varied from 10 to 27 days. In lakes we observed different Artemia aggregations varying in size and form. We conclude that the swimming behavior of Artemia is quite complex and diverse, and develops during ontogeny. PMID:25438935

  15. NON-VERBAL BEHAVIOR OF 6- AND 12-MONTH OLD INFANTS HAVING THE NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS FROM THE BIRTH: A PILOT STUDY.

    PubMed

    Yu, Vekovischeva O; Lyakso, E E

    2015-12-01

    Ethological approach was applied to compare a non-verbal behavior of the 6- and 12-month old infants having neurological diagnosis by the birth (P 91.8 according to ICD-10 scale; risk infants) with the behavior of their healthy (norm infants) peers. The double-blind controlled uninterrupted observation of 1- and 2-minute videos was done to estimate duration and sequence of behavioral elements manifested by infants in familiar home environment during everyday activity. We suggested that if the specific behavioral differences exist it would be considered as predictive markers of infant's development problems. Ethological analysis indicated that the main behavioral differences were related with infant's eye and hand activities. The risk infants of the both age distracted from an object in their hands "looking aside" more often than their healthy peers. The 12-month old risk infants displayed less communicative and explorative abilities than their norm peers. It was proposed that the short-term observations of nonverbal behavior would be useful like an addition to a diagnostic scale to estimate briefly an infant's cognitive condition. PMID:26987232

  16. Primate Auditory Recognition Memory Performance Varies With Sound Type

    PubMed Central

    Chi-Wing, Ng; Bethany, Plakke; Amy, Poremba

    2009-01-01

    Neural correlates of auditory processing, including for species-specific vocalizations that convey biological and ethological significance (e.g. social status, kinship, environment),have been identified in a wide variety of areas including the temporal and frontal cortices. However, few studies elucidate how non-human primates interact with these vocalization signals when they are challenged by tasks requiring auditory discrimination, recognition, and/or memory. The present study employs a delayed matching-to-sample task with auditory stimuli to examine auditory memory performance of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), wherein two sounds are determined to be the same or different. Rhesus macaques seem to have relatively poor short-term memory with auditory stimuli, and we examine if particular sound types are more favorable for memory performance. Experiment 1 suggests memory performance with vocalization sound types (particularly monkey), are significantly better than when using non-vocalization sound types, and male monkeys outperform female monkeys overall. Experiment 2, controlling for number of sound exemplars and presentation pairings across types, replicates Experiment 1, demonstrating better performance or decreased response latencies, depending on trial type, to species-specific monkey vocalizations. The findings cannot be explained by acoustic differences between monkey vocalizations and the other sound types, suggesting the biological, and/or ethological meaning of these sounds are more effective for auditory memory. PMID:19567264

  17. Attachment in integrative neuroscientific perspective.

    PubMed

    Hruby, Radovan; Hasto, Jozef; Minarik, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Attachment theory is a very influential general concept of human social and emotional development, which emphasizes the role of early mother-infant interactions for infant's adaptive behavioural and stress copying strategies, personality organization and mental health. Individuals with disrupted development of secure attachment to mother/primary caregiver are at higher risk of developing mental disorders. This theory consists of the complex developmental psycho-neurobiological model of attachment and emerges from principles of psychoanalysis, evolutionary biology, cognitive-developmental psychology, ethology, physiology and control systems theory. The progress of modern neuroscience enables interpretation of neurobiological aspects of the theory as multi-level neural interactions and functional development of important neural structures, effects of neuromediattors, hormones and essential neurobiological processes including emotional, cognitive, social interactions and the special key role of mentalizing. It has multiple neurobiological, neuroendocrine, neurophysiological, ethological, genetic, developmental, psychological, psychotherapeutic and neuropsychiatric consequences and is a prototype of complex neuroscientific concept as interpretation of modern integrated neuroscience. PMID:21552202

  18. Structure and composition of the courtship phenotype in the bird of paradise Parotia lawesii (Aves: Paradisaeidae).

    PubMed

    Scholes, Edwin

    2008-01-01

    Ethology is rooted in the idea that behavior is composed of discrete units and sub-units that can be compared among taxa in a phylogenetic framework. This means that behavior, like morphology and genes, is inherently modular. Yet, the concept of modularity is not well integrated into how we envision the behavioral components of phenotype. Understanding ethological modularity, and its implications for animal phenotype organization and evolution, requires that we construct interpretive schemes that permit us to examine it. In this study, I describe the structure and composition of a complex part of the behavioral phenotype of Parotia lawesii Ramsay, 1885--a bird of paradise (Aves: Paradisaeidae) from the forests of eastern New Guinea. I use archived voucher video clips, photographic ethograms, and phenotype ontology diagrams to describe the modular units comprising courtship at various levels of integration. Results show P. lawesii to have 15 courtship and mating behaviors (11 males, 4 females) hierarchically arranged within a complex seven-level structure. At the finest level examined, male displays are comprised of 49 modular sub-units (elements) differentially employed to form more complex modular units (phases and versions) at higher-levels of integration. With its emphasis on hierarchical modularity, this study provides an important conceptual framework for understanding courtship-related phenotypic complexity and provides a solid basis for comparative study of the genus Parotia. PMID:18359213

  19. Defectors Cannot Be Detected during“Small Talk” with Strangers

    PubMed Central

    Manson, Joseph H.; Gervais, Matthew M.; Kline, Michelle A.

    2013-01-01

    To account for the widespread human tendency to cooperate in one-shot social dilemmas, some theorists have proposed that cooperators can be reliably detected based on ethological displays that are difficult to fake. Experimental findings have supported the view that cooperators can be distinguished from defectors based on “thin slices” of behavior, but the relevant cues have remained elusive, and the role of the judge's perspective remains unclear. In this study, we followed triadic conversations among unacquainted same-sex college students with unannounced dyadic one-shot prisoner's dilemmas, and asked participants to guess the PD decisions made toward them and among the other two participants. Two other sets of participants guessed the PD decisions after viewing videotape of the conversations, either with foreknowledge (informed), or without foreknowledge (naïve), of the post-conversation PD. Only naïve video viewers approached better-than-chance prediction accuracy, and they were significantly accurate at predicting the PD decisions of only opposite-sexed conversation participants. Four ethological displays recently proposed to cue defection in one-shot social dilemmas (arms crossed, lean back, hand touch, and face touch) failed to predict either actual defection or guesses of defection by any category of observer. Our results cast doubt on the role of “greenbeard” signals in the evolution of human prosociality, although they suggest that eavesdropping may be more informative about others' cooperative propensities than direct interaction. PMID:24358201

  20. A Method for Psychosocial Stress-Induced Reinstatement of Cocaine Seeking in Rats.

    PubMed

    Manvich, Daniel F; Stowe, Taylor A; Godfrey, Jodi R; Weinshenker, David

    2016-06-01

    We describe a novel preclinical model of stress-induced relapse to cocaine use in rats using social defeat stress, an ethologically valid psychosocial stressor in rodents that closely resembles stressors that promote craving and relapse in humans. Rats self-administered cocaine for 20 days. On days 11, 14, 17, and 20, animals were subjected to social defeat stress or a nonstressful control condition following the session, with discrete environmental stimuli signaling the impending event. After extinction training, reinstatement was assessed following re-exposure to these discrete cues. Animals re-exposed to psychosocial stress-predictive cues exhibited increased serum corticosterone and significantly greater reinstatement of cocaine seeking than the control group, and active coping behaviors during social defeat episodes were associated with subsequent reinstatement magnitude. These studies are the first to describe an operant model of psychosocial stress-induced relapse in rodents and lay the foundation for future work investigating its neurobiological underpinnings. PMID:26257242

  1. Follow-me: A new start-and-stop method for visual animal tracking in biology research.

    PubMed

    Linares-Sanchez, Luis Javier; Fernandez-Aleman, Jose Luis; Garcia-Mateos, Gines; Perez-Ruzafa, Angel; Sanchez-Vazquez, Francisco Javier

    2015-08-01

    Very frequently, research in biology and ethology requires visual tracking of live animals, such as insects, rodents and fish. The challenge is particularly difficult in the aquatic environment because of the light scattering effect of water: reflections and refractions, low contrast and resolution images, noise, and also due to the unpredictable animal behavior. This paper describes a new tracking method that is based in start and stop detection. When the animals stop or move very slowly, a precise tracker based on AdaBoost classifiers is applied. Otherwise, when they move faster, a more efficient process based on background detection is used. A control system is responsible for deciding which method should be used in each instant. The experimental results using sea cucumbers (Echinodermata, Holothuroidea), zebrafish and rodents, show the efficiency and accuracy of the proposed method, which is able to deal with complex situations. PMID:26736372

  2. Metal exposure and accumulation patterns in free-range cows (Bos taurus) in a contaminated natural area: Influence of spatial and social behavior.

    PubMed

    Roggeman, Saskia; van den Brink, Nico; Van Praet, Nander; Blust, Ronny; Bervoets, Lieven

    2013-01-01

    Possible effects of spatial metal distribution, seasonal-, ecological- and ethological parameters, on the metal exposure of cows were investigated. Therefore the habitat use, vegetation selection and foraging behavior of two free ranging Galloway herds in a metal polluted nature reserve were observed. Metal concentrations in soil, vegetation, hair, blood and feces were measured. Although both herds lived in the same reserve, their metal exposure differed significantly. A high consumption of soft rush by herd 1 during winter for instance was responsible for a large increase in daily Cd intake. The results of this study suggest that the exposure and health risks of large grazers can probably not only be predicted by a general monitoring of soil and vegetation pollution. Also detailed information about the occurring vegetation types, spatial habitat use together with the social- and foraging behavior and diet selection of the species need to be studied. PMID:23063994

  3. Visual reinforcement in the female Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens.

    PubMed

    Elcoro, Mirari; Silva, Stephanie P; Lattal, Kennon A

    2008-07-01

    Operant conditioning with Betta splendens (Bettas) has been investigated extensively using males of the species. Ethological studies of female Bettas have revealed aggressive interactions that qualitatively parallel those between male Bettas. Given these similarities, four experiments were conducted with female Bettas to examine the generality of a widely reported finding with males: mirror-image reinforcement. Swimming through a ring was reinforced by a 10-s mirror presentation. As with males, ring swimming was acquired and maintained when mirror presentations were immediate (Experiments 1, 2, and 3) and delayed (Experiment 4). The failure of conventional extinction (Experiments 1 and 2) and response-independent mirror presentations (Experiment 3) to maintain responding confirmed the reinforcing properties of mirror presentation. These results extend previous findings of mirror images as reinforcers in males of the same species and illustrate a complementarity between behavioral ecology and the experimental analysis of behavior. PMID:18683612

  4. The nature of human aggression.

    PubMed

    Archer, John

    2009-01-01

    Human aggression is viewed from four explanatory perspectives, derived from the ethological tradition. The first consists of its adaptive value, which can be seen throughout the animal kingdom, involving resource competition and protection of the self and offspring, which has been viewed from a cost-benefit perspective. The second concerns the phylogenetic origin of aggression, which in humans involves brain mechanisms that are associated with anger and inhibition, the emotional expression of anger, and how aggressive actions are manifest. The third concerns the origin of aggression in development and its subsequent modification through experience. An evolutionary approach to development yields conclusions that are contrary to the influential social learning perspective, notably that physical aggression occurs early in life, and its subsequent development is characterized by learned inhibition. The fourth explanation concerns the motivational mechanisms controlling aggression: approached from an evolutionary background, these mechanisms range from the inflexible reflex-like responses to those incorporating rational decision-making. PMID:19411108

  5. How hierarchical is language use?

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Stefan L.; Bod, Rens; Christiansen, Morten H.

    2012-01-01

    It is generally assumed that hierarchical phrase structure plays a central role in human language. However, considerations of simplicity and evolutionary continuity suggest that hierarchical structure should not be invoked too hastily. Indeed, recent neurophysiological, behavioural and computational studies show that sequential sentence structure has considerable explanatory power and that hierarchical processing is often not involved. In this paper, we review evidence from the recent literature supporting the hypothesis that sequential structure may be fundamental to the comprehension, production and acquisition of human language. Moreover, we provide a preliminary sketch outlining a non-hierarchical model of language use and discuss its implications and testable predictions. If linguistic phenomena can be explained by sequential rather than hierarchical structure, this will have considerable impact in a wide range of fields, such as linguistics, ethology, cognitive neuroscience, psychology and computer science. PMID:22977157

  6. [Pedophilia and its treatment].

    PubMed

    Knecht, T

    2001-11-01

    Pedophilia is a frequent cause of infringement of children's sexual integrity. It's a widely spread deviant pattern of sexual arousal and behavior, which seems to be deeply rooted in human nature, as shown by impressive ethological and cultural historical evidence. Aetiology and pathogenesis of pedophilia are still not clarified, but there is a number of interesting findings suggesting multifactorial developmental disorder as the basis of pedophilia. Regarding the treatment of pedophiles, there is usually drawn a distinction between somatic and non-somatic methods. The latter aim at relapse-prevention by augmentation of self-control. The former mean drive-reduction on a hormonal basis. Antiandrogens, progestogens and LHRH-agonists have proven themselves as having significant effects on sexual drive, whereas their side effects are quite tolerable on the whole. PMID:11721303

  7. Communication in Natural and Artificial Organisms: Experiments in Evolutionary Robotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marocco, Davide; Nolfi, Stefano

    In the field of ethological studies many efforts of researchers are devoted to understand how animals communicate and what is the role of communication from an evolutionary and functional point of view. Progress in this area might also have an impact on our understanding of human communication since animal and human communication systems share several features (Hauser, 1996). The social function played by human language, for instance, is one of the first traits that allows us to place language in the same evolutionary field as other animal communication systems. Moreover, recently also the idea of the uniqueness of human language regarding the representational fashion of the knowledge and the compositionality of signals is challenged by new findings in primate research that indicate that, in baboons, knowledge is representational, based on properties that have discrete values and, from a certain point of view, propositional (Seyfarth et al., 2005).

  8. On the Utilization of Social Animals as a Model for Social Robotics

    PubMed Central

    Miklósi, Ádám; Gácsi, Márta

    2012-01-01

    Social robotics is a thriving field in building artificial agents. The possibility to construct agents that can engage in meaningful social interaction with humans presents new challenges for engineers. In general, social robotics has been inspired primarily by psychologists with the aim of building human-like robots. Only a small subcategory of “companion robots” (also referred to as robotic pets) was built to mimic animals. In this opinion essay we argue that all social robots should be seen as companions and more conceptual emphasis should be put on the inter-specific interaction between humans and social robots. This view is underlined by the means of an ethological analysis and critical evaluation of present day companion robots. We suggest that human–animal interaction provides a rich source of knowledge for designing social robots that are able to interact with humans under a wide range of conditions. PMID:22457658

  9. On the Socio-Sexual Behaviour of the Extinct Ursid Indarctos arctoides: An Approach Based on Its Baculum Size and Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Abella, Juan; Valenciano, Alberto; Pérez-Ramos, Alejandro; Montoya, Plinio; Morales, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    The fossil bacula, or os penis, constitutes a rare subject of study due to its scarcity in the fossil record. In the present paper we describe five bacula attributed to the bear Indarctos arctoides Depéret, 1895 from the Batallones-3 site (Madrid Basin, Spain). Both the length and morphology of this fossil bacula enabled us to make interpretative approaches to a series of ecological and ethological characters of this bear. Thus, we suggest that I. arctoides could have had prolonged periods of intromission and/or maintenance of intromission during the post-ejaculatory intervals, a multi-male mating system and large home range sizes and/or lower population density. Its size might also have helped females to choose from among the available males. PMID:24058484

  10. Shocking Revelations and Saccharin Sweetness in the Study of Drosophila Olfactory Memory

    PubMed Central

    Perisse, Emmanuel; Burke, Christopher; Huetteroth, Wolf; Waddell, Scott

    2013-01-01

    It is now almost forty years since the first description of learning in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Various incarnations of the classic mutagenesis approach envisaged in the early days have provided around one hundred learning defective mutant fly strains. Recent technological advances permit temporal control of neural function in the behaving fly. These approaches have radically changed experiments in the field and have provided a neural circuit perspective of memory formation, consolidation and retrieval. Combining neural perturbations with more classical mutant intervention allows investigators to interrogate the molecular and cellular processes of memory within the defined neural circuits. Here, we summarize some of the progress made in the last ten years that indicates a remarkable conservation of the neural mechanisms of memory formation between flies and mammals. We emphasize that considering an ethologically-relevant viewpoint might provide additional experimental power in studies of Drosophila memory. PMID:24028959

  11. Towards a standard framework to describe behaviours in the common-sloth (Bradypus variegatus Schinz, 1825): novel interactions data observed in distinct fragments of the Atlantic forest, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Silva, S M; Clozato, C L; Moraes-Barros, N; Morgante, J S

    2013-08-01

    The common three-toed sloth is a widespread species, but the location and the observation of its individuals are greatly hindered by its biological features. Their camouflaged pelage, its slow and quiet movements, and the strictly arboreal habits resulted in the publication of sparse, fragmented and not patterned information on the common sloth behaviour. Thus, herein we propose an updated standardized behavioural categories' framework to the study of the species. Furthermore we describe two never reported interaction behaviours: a probable mating / courtship ritual between male and female; and apparent recognition behaviour between two males. Finally we highlight the contribution of small-duration field works in this elusive species ethological study. PMID:24212693

  12. [Depressive state of rats in conditions of chronic combined stress caused by the combination of differently modal stressors].

    PubMed

    2013-09-01

    Chronic combined stress with the change of differently modal stressors (noise, vibration and pulsating bright light) according to the stochastic scheme against the background of constant stressors (restriction of movement, fluctuations of the temperature of the environment) causes symptoms of depression-like animal behavior, having the pronounced phenomenological simila rity with the clinical presentation of depression: anxiety, behavioral correlates of despair, hypodynamia, anhedonia, as well as morphosomatic consequences of chronic stress: involution of the thymus and spleen, hypertrophy of epinephros, ulceration of the mucous stomach membrane. Imipramine and fluoxetine effectively reduce the stated behavioral disorders, their effectiveness corresponds to the results of clinical studies and the data received from other models of depression. The described model of depression, has satisfactory, corresponding, constructive and predictive validity and can be used for physiological, ethological, and pharmacological studies. PMID:25507816

  13. [Depressive state of rats in conditions of chronic combined stress caused by the combination of differently modal stressors].

    PubMed

    Tiurenkov, I N; Bagmetova, V V; Chernysheva, Ia V; Borodin, D D

    2013-09-01

    Chronic combined stress with the change of differently modal stressors (noise, vibration and pulsating bright light) according to the stochastic scheme against the background of constant stressors (restriction of movement, fluctuations of the temperature of the environment) causes symptoms of depression-like animal behavior, having the pronounced phenomenological simila rity with the clinical presentation of depression: anxiety, behavioral correlates of despair, hypodynamia, anhedonia, as well as morphosomatic consequences of chronic stress: involution of the thymus and spleen, hypertrophy of epinephros, ulceration of the mucous stomach membrane. Imipramine and fluoxetine effectively reduce the stated behavioral disorders, their effectiveness corresponds to the results of clinical studies and the data received from other models of depression. The described model of depression, has satisfactory, corresponding, constructive and predictive validity and can be used for physiological, ethological, and pharmacological studies. PMID:25434218

  14. Geographic dialects in blind mole rats: role of vocal communication in active speciation.

    PubMed Central

    Nevo, E; Heth, G; Beiles, A; Frankenberg, E

    1987-01-01

    We compared and contrasted the physical structure of male "courtship" calls of 59 subterranean mole rats belonging to the Spalax ehrenbergi superspecies in Israel, comprising 11 populations of four chromosomal species (2N = 52, 54, 58, and 60). We also conducted behavioral auditory discrimination tests of 144 females of the four species in the laboratory. The results indicate that each chromosomal species has a vocal dialect significantly different from all others, although the call of 2N = 60, the last derivative of speciation, is not yet fully differentiated. Females of 2N = 52, 54, and 58 preferred their homospecific mates' calls, whereas females of 2N = 60 did not. We conclude that call differentiation builds up gradually and provides an efficient ethological reproductive premating isolation mechanism between the emerging species in the active speciation of mole rats in Israel. PMID:3472211

  15. Endocannabinoids shape accumbal encoding of cue-motivated behavior via CB1 receptor activation in the ventral tegmentum

    PubMed Central

    Oleson, Erik B.; Beckert, Michael V.; Morra, Joshua T.; Lansink, Carien S.; Cachope, Roger; Abdullah, Rehab A.; Loriaux, Amy L.; Schetters, Dustin; Pattij, Tommy; Roitman, Mitchell F.; Lichtman, Aron H.; Cheer, Joseph F.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Transient increases in nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine concentration are observed when animals are presented with motivationally salient stimuli and are theorized to energize reward seeking. They arise from high frequency firing of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which also results in the release of endocannabinoids from dopamine cell bodies. In this context, endocannabinoids are thought to regulate reward seeking by modulating dopamine signaling, although a direct link has never been demonstrated. To test this, we pharmacologically manipulated endocannabinoid neurotransmission in the VTA while measuring transient changes in dopamine concentration in the NAc during reward seeking. Disrupting endocannabinoid signaling dramatically reduced, whereas augmenting levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) increased, cue-evoked dopamine concentrations and reward seeking. These data suggest that 2AG in the VTA regulates reward seeking by sculpting ethologically relevant patterns of dopamine release during reward-directed behavior. PMID:22284189

  16. On Cuteness: Unlocking the Parental Brain and Beyond.

    PubMed

    Kringelbach, Morten L; Stark, Eloise A; Alexander, Catherine; Bornstein, Marc H; Stein, Alan

    2016-07-01

    Cuteness in offspring is a potent protective mechanism that ensures survival for otherwise completely dependent infants. Previous research has linked cuteness to early ethological ideas of a 'Kindchenschema' (infant schema) where infant facial features serve as 'innate releasing mechanisms' for instinctual caregiving behaviours. We propose extending the concept of cuteness beyond visual features to include positive infant sounds and smells. Evidence from behavioural and neuroimaging studies links this extended concept of cuteness to simple 'instinctual' behaviours and to caregiving, protection, and complex emotions. We review how cuteness supports key parental capacities by igniting fast privileged neural activity followed by slower processing in large brain networks also involved in play, empathy, and perhaps even higher-order moral emotions. PMID:27211583

  17. Neuroethology as a translational neuroscience strategy in the era of the NIMH Research Domain Criteria.

    PubMed

    Krystal, John H

    2016-03-01

    The article by Latzman et al. in the current special issue utilizes a novel dataset consisting of behavioral, brain, and genomic data from a sample of 76 captive chimpanzees to make the case that negative affective expression is influenced by variation in the gene coding for arginine vasopressin receptor 1A (AVPR1A), in a sex-linked manner. A novel feature of this study is the ethological approach employed by the authors, i.e., the use of scratching as a behavioral indicator of negative affective state. I comment on conceptual and methodological aspects of this work, and consider how it interfaces with the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework as described by Kozak and Cuthbert in their article for this issue. PMID:26877127

  18. Dissecting the hypothalamic pathways that underlie innate behaviors.

    PubMed

    Zha, Xi; Xu, Xiaohong

    2015-12-01

    Many complex behaviors that do not require learning are displayed and are termed innate. Although traditionally the subject matter of ethology, innate behaviors offer a unique entry point for neuroscientists to dissect the physiological mechanisms governing complex behaviors. Since the last century, converging evidence has implicated the hypothalamus as the central brain area that controls innate behaviors. Recent studies using cutting-edge tools have revealed that genetically-defined populations of neurons residing in distinct hypothalamic nuclei and their associated neural pathways regulate the initiation and maintenance of diverse behaviors including feeding, sleep, aggression, and parental care. Here, we review the newly-defined hypothalamic pathways that regulate each innate behavior. In addition, emerging general principles of the neural control of complex behaviors are discussed. PMID:26552801

  19. Nonverbal behavior during clinical interviews: similarities and dissimilarities among schizophrenia, mania, and depression.

    PubMed

    Annen, Sigrid; Roser, Patrik; Brüne, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Research has shown that patients with schizophrenia and depression differ from nonclinical subjects in nonverbal behavior. In contrast, there is a paucity of studies addressing differences in nonverbal communication between diagnostic groups and as to what extent nonverbal communication feeds into standard ratings of psychopathology. Twenty-six patients with schizophrenia were compared with 24 patients with affective disorders (13 depressed, 11 manic) regarding their nonverbal behavior using the Ethological Coding System for Interviews. Symptom severity was rated using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Patients with mania displayed more illustrative gestures than did patients with schizophrenia or depression. Subtler behavioral differences between the groups occurred regarding assertive behaviors and displacement activities suggestive of hostility and motivational conflict, respectively. Distinct correlations between nonverbal communication and psychopathology ratings emerged in all three groups. Patients with schizophrenia, depression, and mania differ in nonverbal behavior. Nonverbal communication seems to be a significant contributor to clinicians' intuitive ratings. PMID:22210359

  20. A critical review of fear tests used on cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry and horses.

    PubMed

    Forkman, B; Boissy, A; Meunier-Salaün, M-C; Canali, E; Jones, R B

    2007-10-22

    Fear is arguably the most commonly investigated emotion in domestic animals. In the current review we attempt to establish the level of repeatability and validity found for fear tests used on cattle, pigs, sheep and goats, poultry and horses. We focus the review on the three most common types of fear tests: the arena test (open field), the novel object test, and the restraint test. For some tests, e.g. tonic immobility in poultry, there is a good and broad literature on factors that affect the outcome of the test, the validity of the test and its age dependency. However, there are comparatively few of these well defined and validated tests and what is especially missing for most tests is information on the robustness, i.e., what aspects can be changed without affecting the validity of the tests. The relative absence of standardized tests hampers the development of applied ethology as a science. PMID:18046784

  1. Shoot first, ask questions later: Interpretative narratives of Neanderthal hunting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Mark; Pettitt, Paul; Schreve, Danielle

    2016-05-01

    This paper examines the hunting strategies employed by Neanderthals at a series of kill or near-kill sites from the Middle Palaeolithic of Europe (Mauran, La Borde, Taubach, Zwoleń and Salzgitter Lebenstedt). Using palaeolandscape reconstructions and animal ethology as our context, we adopt a multifaceted approach that views hunting as a chaîne opératoire involving the decisions and actions of both the hunter and the hunted, which together help reconstruct a forensic picture of past events as they unfolded. Our conclusions indicate that Neanderthals did not necessarily pre-select individuals from a herd, who they then isolated, pursued and killed, but rather ambushed whole groups, which they slaughtered indiscriminately. There is strong evidence, however, that Neanderthals were highly selective in the carcasses they then chose to process. Our conclusions suggest that Neanderthals were excellent tacticians, casual executioners and discerning diners.

  2. The role of neuropeptide F in a transition to parental care.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Christopher B; VanDenHeuvel, Kathryn; Khana, Daven B; McKinney, Elizabeth C; Moore, Allen J

    2016-04-01

    The genetics of complex social behaviour can be dissected by examining the genetic influences of component pathways, which can be predicted based on expected evolutionary precursors. Here, we examine how gene expression in a pathway that influences the motivation to eat is altered during parental care that involves direct feeding of larvae. We examine the expression ofneuropeptide F, and its receptor, in the burying beetleNicrophorus vespilloides, which feeds pre-digested carrion to its begging larvae. We found that thenpfreceptorwas greatly reduced during active care. Our research provides evidence that feeding behaviour was a likely target during the evolution of parental care inN. vespilloides Moreover, dissecting complex behaviours into ethologically distinct sub-behaviours is a productive way to begin to target the genetic mechanisms involved in the evolution of complex behaviours. PMID:27095268

  3. Social defense: an evolutionary-developmental model of children's strategies for coping with threat in the peer group.

    PubMed

    Martin, Meredith J; Davies, Patrick T; MacNeill, Leigha A

    2014-01-01

    Navigating the ubiquitous conflict, competition, and complex group dynamics of the peer group is a pivotal developmental task of childhood. Difficulty negotiating these challenges represents a substantial source of risk for psychopathology. Evolutionary developmental psychology offers a unique perspective with the potential to reorganize the way we think about the role of peer relationships in shaping how children cope with the everyday challenges of establishing a social niche. To address this gap, we utilize the ethological reformulation of the emotional security theory as a guide to developing an evolutionary framework for advancing an understanding of the defense strategies children use to manage antagonistic peer relationships and protect themselves from interpersonal threat (Davies and Sturge-Apple, 2007). In this way, we hope to illustrate the value of an evolutionary developmental lens in generating unique theoretical insight and novel research directions into the role of peer relationships in the development of psychopathology. PMID:25299884

  4. Mass homicide: the civil massacre.

    PubMed

    Cantor, C H; Mullen, P E; Alpers, P A

    2000-01-01

    Seven cases of mass homicide in Australia, New Zealand, and Britain between 1987 and 1996 are presented. These cases add to the world literature on these rare crimes and balance previous, mostly North American reports. These acts were committed by socially unsuccessful, self-absorbed, and resentful individuals. Lengthy fantasy comprising identification, modeling, and rehearsal preceded the incidents, even where the final acts had impulsive elements. Most had a long-standing fascination with firearms fueling their fantasies and providing the means for mass killing. Their targets were mostly unprotected strangers. Overt suicidal intent or a preparedness to die while committing the homicides was invariable. Ethological theories of status acquisition may provide a useful understanding of mass homicide. PMID:10774842

  5. Central Nervous System Drug Evaluation Using Positron Emission Tomography

    PubMed Central

    Maeda, Jun; Shimada, Hitoshi; Nogami, Tsuyoshi; Arakawa, Ryosuke; Takano, Harumasa; Higuchi, Makoto; Ito, Hiroshi; Okubo, Yoshiro; Suhara, Tetsuya

    2011-01-01

    In conventional pharmacological research in the field of mental disorders, pharmacological effect and dose have been estimated by ethological approach and in vitro data of affinity to the site of action. In addition, the frequency of administration has been estimated from drug kinetics in blood. However, there is a problem regarding an objective index of drug effects in the living body. Furthermore, the possibility that the concentration of drug in blood does not necessarily reflect the drug kinetics in target organs has been pointed out. Positron emission tomography (PET) techniques have made progress for more than 20 years, and made it possible to measure the distribution and kinetics of small molecule components in living brain. In this article, we focused on rational drug dosing using receptor occupancy and proof-of-concept of drugs in the drug development process using PET. PMID:23431048

  6. Animal models for human sexuality.

    PubMed

    Beach, F A

    The value of animal models in biomedical research is firmly established, and many basic principles of human psychology have been explicated as the result of comparative studies. There is pressing need for non-human models in the behavioural sciences as represented by psychiatry, psychology and ethology; and such models should be constructed, provided their validity can be assured. Valid models cannot be based exclusively on similarity in the formal properties of behaviour. Commonality of descriptive terms as applied to different species does not guarantee identity of the concepts to which the terms apply. Model builders must evaluate interspecific similarities and differences in the causes, mediating mechanisms and functional outcomes of behaviour. The validity of interspecific generalization can never exceed the reliability of intraspecific analysis; and the latter is an indispensable antecedent of the former. Existing and potential models for homosexuality and other psychosexual characteristics of human beings are evaluated within the perspective provided by the foregoing generalizations. PMID:256826

  7. [Regulation of the mouse aggressive behavior (pharmacologic analysis of the GABAergic mechanism)].

    PubMed

    Belozertseva, I V; Andreev, B V

    1999-01-01

    Ethological procedures were used to study the effects of GABA-positive drugs on aggression in male albino mice kept in isolation (opponent test). The results revealed several variants of antiaggressive effects of the tested GAB Aergic drugs: 1) antiaggressive, re-socializing of GABAA agonists muscimol (0.125 and 0.5 mg/kg) and THIP (2.0 mg/kg), and GABAB agonist baclofen (2.5-10 mg/kg); 2) antiaggressive, sedative of GABAB agonists baclofen (12.5 mg/kg), phenibut (50-100 mg/kg), and inhibitor of GABA transamininase sodium valproate (100 mg/kg); 3) antiaggressive, anxiogenic for muscimol (1 mg/kg), THIP (5 mg/kg), and sodium valproate (25-50 mg/kg). PMID:10570533

  8. Decision theory, reinforcement learning, and the brain.

    PubMed

    Dayan, Peter; Daw, Nathaniel D

    2008-12-01

    Decision making is a core competence for animals and humans acting and surviving in environments they only partially comprehend, gaining rewards and punishments for their troubles. Decision-theoretic concepts permeate experiments and computational models in ethology, psychology, and neuroscience. Here, we review a well-known, coherent Bayesian approach to decision making, showing how it unifies issues in Markovian decision problems, signal detection psychophysics, sequential sampling, and optimal exploration and discuss paradigmatic psychological and neural examples of each problem. We discuss computational issues concerning what subjects know about their task and how ambitious they are in seeking optimal solutions; we address algorithmic topics concerning model-based and model-free methods for making choices; and we highlight key aspects of the neural implementation of decision making. PMID:19033240

  9. Social stress models in depression research: what do they tell us?

    PubMed Central

    Chaouloff, Francis

    2013-01-01

    There has been a recent surge of interest in the use of social stress models, especially social defeat. Such an interest lies both on the recognition that stressors of social origin play a major role in human psychopathologies and on the acknowledgement that natural and hence ethologically-based stress models bear important translational value. The use of the most recent technology has allowed the recognition of the mechanisms through which social defeat may have enduring psychoneuroendocrine effects, especially social avoidance and anhedonia, two behaviours relevant to human depression. Taken with the sensitivity of these behavioural outcomes to repeated antidepressant treatments, it has been proposed that the social defeat model might be an animal model of depression. The present survey is aimed at examining the limits of such an interpretation, focusing on methodological aspects and on the relevance of social defeat to the study of anxiety-related pathologies. PMID:23532563

  10. Vasotocin and reproductive functions of the domestic chicken.

    PubMed

    Jurkevich, A; Grossmann, R

    2003-07-01

    The neurohypophyseal hormone arginine vasotocin (AVT) combines both antidiuretic and reproductive activities. In the domestic chicken AVT produces assimetric effects on the reproductive functions of males and females. AVT synthesized in magnocellular diencephalic neurons is released into circulation in a highly coordinated manner contributing to the peripheral control of oviposition in hens. Conversely, parvocellular AVT cells located in the limbic system (bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BST)) are quite different in their properties and, possible, functions. In domestic chickens these cells express AVT in a sexually dimorphic manner and are found solely in males. This sexually dimorphic part of the AVT system is sensitive to gonadal steroids. Experimental data demonstrated that AVT modulates different aspects of reproductive behavior including courtship vocalization and copulation. Sexual differentiation of these limbic vasotocinergic cells show striking correlation with sexual differentiation of masculine behavior. Evidences coming from physiological, anatomical and ethological studies suggest strong implication of the vasotocinergic system in the control of reproductive functions. PMID:12963102

  11. Anxiogenic effect of low-dose methamphetamine in the test of elevated plus-maze.

    PubMed

    Pometlová, M; Nohejlová-Deykun, K; Slamberová, R

    2012-01-01

    Methamphetamines (MA) are psychostimulant drugs that are known to change individuals' behavior. Psychostimulants could either evoke positive emotions (e.g. joy and happiness) or attenuate negative emotional states (e.g. anxiety and depression) in humans. In animal experiments, the test of elevated plus-maze (EPM) is widely used. This test is appropriate for evaluation of anxiolytic and anxiogenic drug effects, or for examination of specific subtypes of anxiety disorders. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of acute single dose of MA (1 mg/kg) on the behavior of laboratory rat in the EPM. The detailed ethologic analysis of behavior was performed using a modified protocol based on the study of Fernández Espejo (1997). Our results demonstrated that MA affects rat's behavior in the EPM in the majority of analyzed categories. The present protocol allowed us to determine positive anxiogenic effect of MA. PMID:22980563

  12. Popularizing the ancestry of man: Robert Ardrey and the killer instinct.

    PubMed

    Weidman, Nadine

    2011-06-01

    This essay examines Robert Ardrey (1908-1980)-American playwright, screenwriter, and prolific author-as a case study in the popularization of science. Bringing together evidence from both paleoanthropology and ethology, Ardrey became in the 1960s a vocal proponent of the theory that human beings are innately violent. The essay shows that Ardrey used his popular scientific books not only to consolidate a new science of human nature but also to question the popularizer's standard role, to reverse conventional hierarchies of scientific expertise, and to test the boundaries of professional scientific authority. Understanding how he did this can help us reassess the meanings and uses of popular science as critique in Cold War America. The essay also shows that E. O. Wilson's sociobiology was in part a reaction to the subversive political message of Ardrey's science. PMID:21874688

  13. Origin of floral isolation between ornithophilous and sphingophilous plant species.

    PubMed Central

    Grant, V

    1993-01-01

    Three plant groups in temperate western North America contain closely related ornithophilous and sphingophilous species: the Aquilegia formosa/Aquilegia caerulea group (Ranunculaceae), the Ipomopsis aggregata group (Polemoniaceae), and the Diplacus longiflorus group (Scrophulariaceae). The ornithophilous and sphingophilous species are products of allopatric speciation on the diploid level. Geographical races which are adapted to one class of pollinators in one area where these pollinators are abundant and effective and to another class of pollinators in another geographically isolated area (pollination races) represent a probable intermediate stage in the process of allopatric speciation. Mechanical and ethological isolation (collectively, floral isolation) is a byproduct of the divergence in pollination systems. Selection for reproductive isolation per se has not played any detectable role in the origin of the floral isolation in the three plant groups. PMID:11607421

  14. From natural geometry to spatial cognition.

    PubMed

    Tommasi, Luca; Chiandetti, Cinzia; Pecchia, Tommaso; Sovrano, Valeria Anna; Vallortigara, Giorgio

    2012-02-01

    A review of selected works on spatial memory in animals and humans is presented, and some ideas about the encoding of geometry and its role in evolution are presented, based on recently accumulated evidence from psychology, ethology and the neurosciences. It is argued that comparative analyses at the level of both spatial navigation behaviors and their underlying neural mechanisms may provide a solid foundation for the biological origins of organisms' spontaneous ability in dealing with geometric concepts. To this aim, the representations of space underlying memory tasks involving discrete (i.e., landmark arrays) or continuous elements (i.e., enclosed environments) are evaluated and compared as regards the impact of their geometric arrangement. PMID:22206900

  15. Time-Specific Fear Acts as a Non-Photic Entraining Stimulus of Circadian Rhythms in Rats.

    PubMed

    Pellman, Blake A; Kim, Earnest; Reilly, Melissa; Kashima, James; Motch, Oleksiy; de la Iglesia, Horacio O; Kim, Jeansok J

    2015-01-01

    Virtually all animals have endogenous clock mechanisms that "entrain" to the light-dark (LD) cycle and synchronize psychophysiological functions to optimal times for exploring resources and avoiding dangers in the environment. Such circadian rhythms are vital to human mental health, but it is unknown whether circadian rhythms "entrained" to the LD cycle can be overridden by entrainment to daily recurring threats. We show that unsignaled nocturnal footshock caused rats living in an "ethological" apparatus to switch their natural foraging behavior from the dark to the light phase and that this switch was maintained as a free-running circadian rhythm upon removal of light cues and footshocks. Furthermore, this fear-entrained circadian behavior was dependent on an intact amygdala and suprachiasmatic nucleus. Thus, time-specific fear can act as a non-photic entraining stimulus for the circadian system, and limbic centers encoding aversive information are likely part of the circadian oscillator network that temporally organizes behavior. PMID:26468624

  16. Animal Models of Depression: Molecular Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Krishnan, Vaishnav; Nestler, Eric J.

    2012-01-01

    Much of the current understanding about the pathogenesis of altered mood, impaired concentration and neurovegetative symptoms in major depression has come from animal models. However, because of the unique and complex features of human depression, the generation of valid and insightful depression models has been less straightforward than modeling other disabling diseases like cancer or autoimmune conditions. Today’s popular depression models creatively merge ethologically valid behavioral assays with the latest technological advances in molecular biology and automated video-tracking. This chapter reviews depression assays involving acute stress (e.g., forced swim test), models consisting of prolonged physical or social stress (e.g., social defeat), models of secondary depression, genetic models, and experiments designed to elucidate the mechanisms of antidepressant action. These paradigms are critically evaluated in relation to their ease, validity and replicability, the molecular insights that they have provided, and their capacity to offer the next generation of therapeutics for depression. PMID:21225412

  17. A role for molecular genetics in biological conservation.

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, S J

    1994-01-01

    The recognition of recent accelerated depletion of species as a consequence of human industrial development has spawned a wide interest in identifying threats to endangered species. In addition to ecological and demographic perils, it has become clear that small populations that narrowly survive demographic contraction may undergo close inbreeding, genetic drift, and loss of overall genomic variation due to allelic loss or reduction to homozygosity. I review here the consequences of such genetic depletion revealed by applying molecular population genetic analysis to four endangered mammals: African cheetah, lion, Florida panther, and humpback whale. The accumulated genetic results, combined with physiological, ecological, and ethological data, provide a multifaceted perspective of the process of species diminution. An emerging role of population genetics, phylogenetics, and phylogeography as indicators of a population's natural history and its future prognosis provides valuable data of use in the development of conservation management plans for endangered species. PMID:7912434

  18. State-dependent sensorimotor processing: gaze and posture stability during simulated flight in birds

    PubMed Central

    McArthur, Kimberly L.

    2011-01-01

    Vestibular responses play an important role in maintaining gaze and posture stability during rotational motion. Previous studies suggest that these responses are state dependent, their expression varying with the environmental and locomotor conditions of the animal. In this study, we simulated an ethologically relevant state in the laboratory to study state-dependent vestibular responses in birds. We used frontal airflow to simulate gliding flight and measured pigeons′ eye, head, and tail responses to rotational motion in darkness, under both head-fixed and head-free conditions. We show that both eye and head response gains are significantly higher during flight, thus enhancing gaze and head-in-space stability. We also characterize state-specific tail responses to pitch and roll rotation that would help to maintain body-in-space orientation during flight. These results demonstrate that vestibular sensorimotor processing is not fixed but depends instead on the animal's behavioral state. PMID:21307332

  19. Men in Groups: Anthropology and Aggression, 1965-84.

    PubMed

    Milam, Erika Lorraine

    2015-01-01

    By the late 1950s, Harry Frank Guggenheim was concerned with understanding why some charismatic leaders fought for freedom, while others sought power and domination. He believed that best-selling books on ethological approaches to animal and human behavior, especially those by playwright and screenwriter Robert Ardrey, promised a key to this dilemma, and he created a foundation that would fund research addressing problems of violence, aggression, and dominance. Under the directorship of Rutgers University professors Robin Fox and Lionel Tiger, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation fostered scientific investigations into the biological basis of human nature. This essay analyzes their discussions of aggression as fundamental to the behavior of men in groups in order to elucidate the private and professional dimensions of masculine networks of US philanthropic and academic authority in the late 1960s and 1970s. PMID:27066619

  20. [Aspects of animal welfare in livestock production].

    PubMed

    Hartung, J

    2000-12-01

    The modern consumer is increasingly concerned about the welfare of farm animals which are kept in intensive systems on specialised farms where the health and well-being is almost completely dependent on the will, ability and care of the farmer. Further demands related to animal production are consumer health (quality and safety of food products), the protection of the environment and cheap food. The currently used husbandry systems are man made and emphasise automation which requires permanent critical observation of the welfare of the animals. Ethological indicators are equally important as health and performance to evaluate keeping systems. Future animal farming will be influenced by new technologies such as electronic animal identification and milking robots, and more important by biotechnology and genome analysis. Veterinary surgeons and farmers have to co-operate on the basis of scientifically sound animal welfare schemes which help to protect our farm animals in modern and intensive livestock production systems. PMID:11155522

  1. [Lamarck needs Darwin: the search for purpose in the study of evolution and of history].

    PubMed

    Moreno, Juan

    2009-01-01

    Lamarck's theory of the inheritance of acquired characteristics and immediate responses to environmental challenges has offered a promise of protagonism of human beings and their fellow travellers, the other organisms, in the evolutionary process. Darwin's theory about evolution by natural selection does not offer this consolation and does not presuppose anything else other than gradual changes in the composition of natural populations. The study of ecology, ethology, neurobiology, animal culture, psychology and human history reveals that the lamarckian interpretations of change and character transmission processes always assume what they intend to explain, that is previous processes of darwinian evolution that guarantee the adaptive nature of the observed responses. The permanent search of direction and intentionality in evolutionary processes by many scientists suggests the limited acceptance of materialistic explanations as those offered by Darwin's theory. PMID:21032945

  2. Can vocal conditioning trigger a semiotic ratchet in marmosets?

    PubMed Central

    Turesson, Hjalmar K.; Ribeiro, Sidarta

    2015-01-01

    The complexity of human communication has often been taken as evidence that our language reflects a true evolutionary leap, bearing little resemblance to any other animal communication system. The putative uniqueness of the human language poses serious evolutionary and ethological challenges to a rational explanation of human communication. Here we review ethological, anatomical, molecular, and computational results across several species to set boundaries for these challenges. Results from animal behavior, cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and semiotics indicate that human language shares multiple features with other primate communication systems, such as specialized brain circuits for sensorimotor processing, the capability for indexical (pointing) and symbolic (referential) signaling, the importance of shared intentionality for associative learning, affective conditioning and parental scaffolding of vocal production. The most substantial differences lie in the higher human capacity for symbolic compositionality, fast vertical transmission of new symbols across generations, and irreversible accumulation of novel adaptive behaviors (cultural ratchet). We hypothesize that increasingly-complex vocal conditioning of an appropriate animal model may be sufficient to trigger a semiotic ratchet, evidenced by progressive sign complexification, as spontaneous contact calls become indexes, then symbols and finally arguments (strings of symbols). To test this hypothesis, we outline a series of conditioning experiments in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). The experiments are designed to probe the limits of vocal communication in a prosocial, highly vocal primate 35 million years far from the human lineage, so as to shed light on the mechanisms of semiotic complexification and cultural transmission, and serve as a naturalistic behavioral setting for the investigation of language disorders. PMID:26500583

  3. Depressive-like behavioral profiles in captive-bred single- and socially-housed rhesus and cynomolgus macaques: a species comparison

    PubMed Central

    Camus, Sandrine M. J.; Rochais, Céline; Blois-Heulin, Catherine; Li, Qin; Hausberger, Martine; Bezard, Erwan

    2014-01-01

    Background: To unravel the causes of major depressive disorder (MDD), the third leading cause of disease burden around the world, ethological animal models have recently been proposed. Our previous studies highlighted a depressive-like profile among single- and socially-housed farm-bred cynomolgus macaques. Although phylogenetically close, cynomolgus and rhesus macaques, the two most commonly used macaque species in biomedical research, differ on several levels such as patterns of aggression, reconciliation, temperament, or dominance styles. The question of whether one captive macaque species was more vulnerable than another in the development of a pathological profile reminiscent of MDD symptoms was explored. Methods: Behavioral data (including body postures, orientations, gaze directions, inter-individual distances, and locations in the cage) were collected in farming conditions. Using an unbiased validated ethological scan-sampling method, followed by multiple correspondence and hierarchical clustering analyses, 40 single- and 35 socially-housed rhesus macaques were assessed. Independently, for each housing condition, inter-species comparisons were made with previously acquired data on farm-bred cynomolgus monkeys. Results: Consistent with our previous studies, we found depressive-like characteristics (e.g., inactivity, low level of investigation and maintenance, long time spent inactive while facing the wall) among single- and socially-housed rhesus macaques. Species-specificities were reported in non-depressive time budgets and in the prevalence of the pathological profiles. Conclusions: Our results suggest that rhesus may be more vulnerable to developing a despair-like state than cynomolgus macaques, both in single- and in social-housing conditions. Therefore, rhesus macaques are more suitable for use as a “spontaneous” model of depressive disorders. PMID:24600363

  4. A comparative study of the effects of morphine in the dorsal periaqueductal gray and nucleus accumbens of rats submitted to the elevated plus-maze test.

    PubMed

    Anseloni, V C; Coimbra, N C; Morato, S; Brandão, M L

    1999-11-01

    We studied the effects of morphine injected either systemically or into the dorsal periaqueductal gray (DPAG) or nucleus accumbens (NA) using conventional and ethological analyses of behavior of rats submitted to the elevated plus-maze test with transparent walls. Intraperitoneal morphine (0.1 mg/kg and 0.3 mg/kg) increased both standard and ethological measures, expressing general exploratory activity such as total arm entries, end-exploration, scanning, head-dipping, and rearing. Morphine 10 (7.6 microg/microl) and 30 nmol (23 microg/microl) injected into nucleus accumbens produced similar effects, which were blocked by i.p. naltrexone (2.0 mg/kg), an opioid antagonist with good affinity for mu-opioid receptors. Morphine injected into the DPAG produced either antiaversive (10 nmol) or aversive effects (30 nmol), which respectively reduced and increased entries and time spent in the open arms and behaviors associated with risk assessment (peeping out, stretched attend postures, and flat back approach). The proaversive effects were inhibited by i.p. norbinaltorphimine (2.0 mg/kg), a selective inhibitor for kappa-opioid receptors. These findings support the contention that at least some of the motivational effects of morphine may be due to activation of opioid mechanisms in nucleus accumbens, and DPAG has neural substrates for antiaversive and aversive effects of morphine. Moreover, on the basis of previous and present data obtained in this laboratory, it is suggested that stimulation of mu-opioid receptors inhibits and stimulation of kappa-receptors activates the neural substrate of aversion in the DPAG. On the other hand, the increase in exploratory behavior due to interaction of morphine with mu-opioid receptors in the nucleus accumbens may be due to the stimulation of the interface between neural substrates of motivation and motor output in this structure. PMID:10591900

  5. Behavioral profile of wild mice in the elevated plus-maze test for anxiety.

    PubMed

    Holmes, A; Parmigiani, S; Ferrari, P F; Palanza, P; Rodgers, R J

    2000-12-01

    Systematic observations of the defensive behavior of wild rodents have greatly informed the experimental study of anxiety and its neural substrates in laboratory animals. However, as the former work has been almost exclusively carried out in rats, few data are available concerning the reactivity of wild mice to standardized tests of anxiety-related behavior. In the present experiments, we employed ethological measures to examine the behavioral responses of a wild-derived population of house mice (Mus musculus) in the elevated plus-maze. In direct comparisons with laboratory Swiss mice, male wild mice exhibited substantially elevated levels of exploratory activities and an overall "preference" for the open arms of the plus-maze. On re-exposure to the plus-maze, male wild mice showed further increases in open arm exploration, while Swiss mice showed a marked shift to the enclosed parts of the plus-maze. Tested over a single session, female wild mice also exhibited a profile of high open arm exploration, but showed levels of exploratory behaviors and locomotor activity similar to female Swiss counterparts. While exploratory patterns in wild mice show similarities to profiles seen in certain laboratory strains (e.g., BALB/c), wild mice displayed a number of additional behaviors that are unprecedented in plus-maze studies with laboratory mice. These included actual and attempted jumps from the maze, spontaneous freezing, and exploration of the upper ledges of the closed arms. Thus, while in conventional terms the behavior of wild mice was consistent with one of low anxiety-like behavior, the presence of these unique elements instead indicates a profile more accurately characterized by high reactivity and escape motivation. We discuss how the use of an ethological approach to measuring plus-maze behavior can support accurate interpretation of other exceptional profiles in this test, such as those possibly arising from phenotyping of transgenic and gene knockout mice

  6. Is silence golden? Effects of auditory stimuli and their absence on adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kirste, Imke; Nicola, Zeina; Kronenberg, Golo; Walker, Tara L; Liu, Robert C; Kempermann, Gerd

    2015-03-01

    We have previously hypothesized that the reason why physical activity increases precursor cell proliferation in adult neurogenesis is that movement serves as non-specific signal to evoke the alertness required to meet cognitive demands. Thereby a pool of immature neurons is generated that are potentially recruitable by subsequent cognitive stimuli. Along these lines, we here tested whether auditory stimuli might exert a similar non-specific effect on adult neurogenesis in mice. We used the standard noise level in the animal facility as baseline and compared this condition to white noise, pup calls, and silence. In addition, as patterned auditory stimulus without ethological relevance to mice we used piano music by Mozart (KV 448). All stimuli were transposed to the frequency range of C57BL/6 and hearing was objectified with acoustic evoked potentials. We found that except for white noise all stimuli, including silence, increased precursor cell proliferation (assessed 24 h after labeling with bromodeoxyuridine, BrdU). This could be explained by significant increases in BrdU-labeled Sox2-positive cells (type-1/2a). But after 7 days, only silence remained associated with increased numbers of BrdU-labeled cells. Compared to controls at this stage, exposure to silence had generated significantly increased numbers of BrdU/NeuN-labeled neurons. Our results indicate that the unnatural absence of auditory input as well as spectrotemporally rich albeit ethological irrelevant stimuli activate precursor cells-in the case of silence also leading to greater numbers of newborn immature neurons-whereas ambient and unstructured background auditory stimuli do not. PMID:24292324

  7. Correlation of etho-social and psycho-social data from "Mars-500" interplanetary simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tafforin, Carole; Vinokhodova, Alla; Chekalina, Angelina; Gushin, Vadim

    2015-06-01

    Studies of social groups under isolation and confinement for the needs of space psychology were mostly limited by questionnaires completed with batteries of subjective tests, and they needed to be correlated with video recordings for objective analyses in space ethology. The aim of the present study is to identify crewmembers' behavioral profiles for better understanding group dynamics during a 520-day isolation and confinement of the international crew (n=6) participating to the "Mars-500" interplanetary simulation. We propose to correlate data from PSPA (Personal Self-Perception and Attitudes) computerized test, sociometric questionnaires and color choices test (Luscher test) used to measure anxiety levels, with data of video analysis during group discussion (GD) and breakfast time (BT). All the procedures were implemented monthly - GD, or twice a month - BT. Firstly, we used descriptive statistics for displaying quantitative subjects' behavioral profiles, supplied with a software based-solution: the Observer XT®. Secondly, we used Spearmen's nonparametric correlation analysis. The results show that for each subject, the level of non-verbal behavior ("visual interactions", "object interactions", "body interaction", "personal actions", "facial expressions", and "collateral acts") is higher than the level of verbal behavior ("interpersonal communication in Russian", and "interpersonal communication in English"). From the video analyses, dynamics profiles over months are different between the crewmembers. From the correlative analyses, we found highly negative correlations between anxiety and interpersonal communications; and between the sociometric parameter "popularity in leisure environment" and anxiety level. We also found highly significant positive correlations between the sociometric parameter "popularity in working environment" and interpersonal communications, and facial expressions; and between the sociometric parameter "popularity in leisure environment

  8. Wireless Adaptive Therapeutic TeleGaming in a Pervasive Computing Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, James F.; Szturm, Tony; Borkowski, Maciej; Lockery, Dan; Ramanna, Sheela; Shay, Barbara

    This chapter introduces a wireless, pervasive computing approach to adaptive therapeutic telegaming considered in the context of near set theory. Near set theory provides a formal basis for observation, comparison and classification of perceptual granules. A perceptual granule is defined by a collection of objects that are graspable by the senses or by the mind. In the proposed pervasive computing approach to telegaming, a handicapped person (e.g., stroke patient with limited hand, finger, arm function) plays a video game by interacting with familiar instrumented objects such as cups, cutlery, soccer balls, nozzles, screw top-lids, spoons, so that the technology that makes therapeutic exercise game-playing possible is largely invisible (Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 89:2213-2217, 2008). The basic approach to adaptive learning (AL) in the proposed telegaming environment is ethology-inspired and is quite different from the traditional approach to reinforcement learning. In biologically-inspired learning, organisms learn to achieve some goal by durable modification of behaviours in response to signals from the environment resulting from specific experiences (Animal Behavior, 1995). The term adaptive is used here in an ethological sense, where learning by an organism results from modifying behaviour in response to perceived changes in the environment. To instill adaptivity in a video game, it is assumed that learning by a video game is episodic. During an episode, the behaviour of a player is measured indirectly by tracking the occurrence of gaming events such as a hit or a miss of a target (e.g., hitting a moving ball with a game paddle). An ethogram provides a record of behaviour feature values that provide a basis a functional registry for handicapped players for gaming adaptivity. An important practical application of adaptive gaming is therapeutic rehabilitation exercise carried out in parallel with playing action video games. Enjoyable and

  9. Slow wave changes in amygdala to visual, auditory, and social stimuli following lesions of the inferior temporal cortex in squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus).

    PubMed

    Kling, A S; Lloyd, R L; Perryman, K M

    1987-01-01

    Radiotelemetry of slow wave activity of the amygdala was recorded under a variety of conditions. Power, and the percentage of power in the delta band, increased in response to stimulation. Recordings of monkey vocalizations and slides of ethologically relevant, natural objects produced a greater increase in power than did control stimuli. The responses to auditory stimuli increased when these stimuli were presented in an unrestrained, group setting, yet the responses to the vocalizations remained greater than those following control stimuli. Both the natural auditory and visual stimuli produced a reliable hierarchy with regard to the magnitude of response. Following lesions of inferior temporal cortex, these two hierarchies are disrupted, especially in the auditory domain. Further, these same stimuli, when presented after the lesion, produced a decrease, rather than an increase, in power. Nevertheless, the power recorded from the natural stimuli was still greater than that recorded from control stimuli in that the former produced less of a decrease in power, following the lesion, than did the latter. These data, in conjunction with a parallel report on evoked potentials in the amygdala, before and after cortical lesions, lead us to conclude that sensory information, particularly auditory, available to the amygdala, following the lesion, is substantially the same, and that it is the interpretation of this information, by the amygdala, which is altered by the cortical lesion. PMID:3566692

  10. Sentinels of safety: service dogs ensure safety and enhance freedom and well-being for families with autistic children.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Kristen E; Adams, Cindy L; Spiers, Jude

    2008-12-01

    Children with autism might display unpredictable and volatile behavior that places them in considerable physical danger and creates stress for the family. Families of autistic children often have limited freedom and experience difficulty with everyday activities. In this qualitative ethology study, we examined the effect of integrating service dogs into ten families with an autistic child. Data included participant observation, video recordings of family-parent-dog interaction, and semistructured interviews with the parents. The themes were (a) the dog as a sentinel of safety, (b) gaining freedom through enhanced safety, facilitating public outings and family activities, and (c) improving social recognition and status, in which the presence of the dog promoted awareness of autism and affected social interaction. The triadic relationship between parent, autistic child, and service dog constantly evolves. This research provides valuable information for parents interested in having a service dog for their autistic child, and has implications for long-term human-animal companionship for children with special needs and their caregivers. PMID:18955467

  11. The origin of Chubutolithes Ihering, ichnofossils from the Eocene and Oligocene of Chubut Province, Argentina.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, T.M.; Ratcliffe, B.C.

    1988-01-01

    The distinctive trace fossil Chubutolithes gaimanensis n. ichnosp. occurs in Casamayoran (early Eocene) and Colhuehaupian (late Oligocene) alluvial rocks of the Sarmiento Formation in eastern Chubut Province, Argentina. Though known for nearly 70 years, its origin has remained obscure. Examination of new specimens and comparisons with modern analogs demonstrate that specimens of Chubutolithes represent the fossil nests of a mud-dauber (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). Virtually identical nests are constructed today by mud-daubers in areas as disparate as southern Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, and Nebraska, confirming that quite similar trace fossils can be produced by several different taxa in a higher taxonomic clade. No satisfactory ethological term exists for trace fossils that, like Chubutolithes, were constructed by organisms above, rather than within, a substrate or medium. The new term aedificichnia is proposed. Chubutolithes occurs in alluvial paleosols and is associated with a large terrestrial ichnofauna. These trace fossils include the nests of scarab beetles, compound nests of social insects, and burrows of earthworms. -Authors

  12. Coding space-time stimulus dynamics in auditory brain maps

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yunyan; Gutfreund, Yoram; Peña, José L.

    2014-01-01

    Sensory maps are often distorted representations of the environment, where ethologically-important ranges are magnified. The implication of a biased representation extends beyond increased acuity for having more neurons dedicated to a certain range. Because neurons are functionally interconnected, non-uniform representations influence the processing of high-order features that rely on comparison across areas of the map. Among these features are time-dependent changes of the auditory scene generated by moving objects. How sensory representation affects high order processing can be approached in the map of auditory space of the owl's midbrain, where locations in the front are over-represented. In this map, neurons are selective not only to location but also to location over time. The tuning to space over time leads to direction selectivity, which is also topographically organized. Across the population, neurons tuned to peripheral space are more selective to sounds moving into the front. The distribution of direction selectivity can be explained by spatial and temporal integration on the non-uniform map of space. Thus, the representation of space can induce biased computation of a second-order stimulus feature. This phenomenon is likely observed in other sensory maps and may be relevant for behavior. PMID:24782781

  13. Magnetic alignment in grazing and resting cattle and deer

    PubMed Central

    Begall, Sabine; Červený, Jaroslav; Neef, Julia; Vojtěch, Oldřich; Burda, Hynek

    2008-01-01

    We demonstrate by means of simple, noninvasive methods (analysis of satellite images, field observations, and measuring “deer beds” in snow) that domestic cattle (n = 8,510 in 308 pastures) across the globe, and grazing and resting red and roe deer (n = 2,974 at 241 localities), align their body axes in roughly a north–south direction. Direct observations of roe deer revealed that animals orient their heads northward when grazing or resting. Amazingly, this ubiquitous phenomenon does not seem to have been noticed by herdsmen, ranchers, or hunters. Because wind and light conditions could be excluded as a common denominator determining the body axis orientation, magnetic alignment is the most parsimonious explanation. To test the hypothesis that cattle orient their body axes along the field lines of the Earth's magnetic field, we analyzed the body orientation of cattle from localities with high magnetic declination. Here, magnetic north was a better predictor than geographic north. This study reveals the magnetic alignment in large mammals based on statistically sufficient sample sizes. Our findings open horizons for the study of magnetoreception in general and are of potential significance for applied ethology (husbandry, animal welfare). They challenge neuroscientists and biophysics to explain the proximate mechanisms. PMID:18725629

  14. Long-term effects of methamphetamine exposure in adolescent mice on the future ovarian reserve in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lan; Qu, Guoqiang; Dong, Xiyuan; Huang, Kai; Kumar, Molly; Ji, Licheng; Wang, Ya; Yao, Junning; Yang, Shulin; Wu, Ruxing; Zhang, Hanwang

    2016-02-01

    Currently, there is an increasing prevalence of adolescent exposure to methamphetamine (MA). However, there is a paucity of information concerning the long-term impact of early exposure to MA upon female fertility and ovarian reserve. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of long-term MA exposure in adolescents on their ovarian reserve in adulthood. Adolescent mice received intraperitoneal injections of MA (5mg/kg, three times per week) or saline from the 21st postnatal day for an 8 week period. Morphological, histological, biochemical, hormonal and ethological parameters were evaluated. An impaired ovarian reserve and vitality was found in the group treated with MA, manifesting in morphological-apparent mitochondrial damage, an activated apoptosis pathway in the ovarian tissue, a downward expression of ovarian anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), a decreased number of primordial and growing follicles, an increased number of atretic follicles, and a depressed secretion of AMH, estradiol and progesterone from granulosa cells. However, no significant difference was noticed regarding the estrous cycle, the mating ability and the fertility outcome in the reproductive age of the mice after a period of non-medication. The present results confirmed that a long term exposure to methamphetamine in adolescent mice does have an adverse impact on their ovarian reserve, which indicates that such an early abuse of MA might influence the fertility lifespan of the female mouse. PMID:26657179

  15. Genetic influences on social attention in free-ranging rhesus macaques

    PubMed Central

    Watson, K. K.; Li, D.; Brent, L. J. N.; Horvath, J. E.; Gonzalez-Martinez, J.; Lambides, Ruiz- A.; Robinson, A. G.; Skene, J. H. P; Platt, M. L.

    2015-01-01

    An ethological approach to attention predicts that organisms orient preferentially to valuable sources of information in the environment. For many gregarious species, orienting to other individuals provides valuable social information but competes with food acquisition, water consumption and predator avoidance. Individual variation in vigilance behaviour in humans spans a continuum from inattentive to pathological levels of interest in others. To assess the comparative biology of this behavioural variation, we probed vigilance rates in free-ranging macaques during water drinking, a behaviour incompatible with the gaze and postural demands of vigilance. Males were significantly more vigilant than females. Moreover, vigilance showed a clear genetic component, with an estimated heritability of 12%. Monkeys carrying a relatively infrequent ‘long’ allele of TPH2, a regulatory gene that influences serotonin production in the brain, were significantly less vigilant compared to monkeys that did not carry the allele. These findings resonate with the hypothesis that the serotonin pathway regulates vigilance in primates and by extension provoke the idea that individual variation in vigilance and its underlying biology may be adaptive rather than pathological. PMID:26034313

  16. Pheromones in birds: myth or reality?

    PubMed Central

    Caro, Samuel P.; Balthazart, Jacques

    2012-01-01

    Birds are anosmic or at best microsmatic… This misbelief persisted until very recently and has strongly influenced the outcome of communication studies in birds, with olfaction remaining neglected as compared to acoustic and visual channels. However, there is now clear empirical evidence showing that olfaction is perfectly functional in birds and birds use olfactory information in a variety of ethological contexts. Although the existence of pheromones has never been formally demonstrated in this vertebrate class, different groups of birds, such as petrels, auklets and ducks have been shown to produce specific scents that could play a significant role in within-species social interactions. Behavioral experiments have indeed demonstrated that these odors influence the behavior of conspecifics. Additionally, in quail, deprivation of olfactory inputs decreases neuronal activation induced by sexual interactions with a female. It seems therefore well established that birds enjoy a functional sense of smell and a fast growing body of experimental evidence suggests that they use this channel of olfactory communication to control their social life. The unequivocal identification of an avian pheromone is, however, still ahead of us but there are now many exciting opportunities to unravel the behavioral and physiological particularities of chemical communication in birds. PMID:20490809

  17. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia)

    PubMed Central

    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses. PMID:27399970

  18. Data-Driven Classification of Animal Behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berman, Gordon; Bialek, William; Shaevitz, Joshua

    2012-02-01

    The last decades have seen an explosion in our ability to characterize the molecular, cellular and genetic building blocks of life; the ingredients out of which we try to explain the rich and compelling behavior of living organisms. Our characterization of behavior itself, however, has advanced more slowly. Since modern ethology was founded over a century ago, behavioral experiments have focused largely on a restricted set of behaviors within the scope of a limited environment. Moreover, the set of behaviors to be examined is often user-defined, creating the potential for human bias and anthropomorphism. The research presented here describes a data-driven methodology for analyzing animal behavior, focusing on the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system. Towards this end, we have built an imaging system that can track single flies as they move about a relatively unencumbered environment. Utilizing this capacity to generate large data sets of animal behavior, we have developed a method for automatically identifying behavioral states using techniques from image analysis, machine learning, and nonlinear dynamics. Identifying these states provides the starting point for many analyses and creates the possibility for automatic phenotyping of subtle behavioral traits.

  19. The age of anxiety: role of animal models of anxiolytic action in drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    Cryan, John F; Sweeney, Fabian F

    2011-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are common, serious and a growing health problem worldwide. However, the causative factors, aetiology and underlying mechanisms of anxiety disorders, as for most psychiatric disorders, remain relatively poorly understood. Animal models are an important aid in giving insight into the aetiology, neurobiology and, ultimately, the therapy of human anxiety disorders. The approach, however, is challenged with a number of complexities. In particular, the heterogeneous nature of anxiety disorders in humans coupled with the associated multifaceted and descriptive diagnostic criteria, creates challenges in both animal modelling and in clinical research. In this paper, we describe some of the more widely used approaches for assessing the anxiolytic activity of known and potential therapeutic agents. These include ethological, conflict-based, hyponeophagia, vocalization-based, physiological and cognitive-based paradigms. Developments in the characterization of translational models are also summarized, as are the challenges facing researchers in their drug discovery efforts in developing new anxiolytic drugs, not least the ever-shifting clinical conceptualization of anxiety disorders. In conclusion, to date, although animal models of anxiety have relatively good validity, anxiolytic drugs with novel mechanisms have been slow to emerge. It is clear that a better alignment of the interactions between basic and clinical scientists is needed if this is to change. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed issue on Translational Neuropharmacology. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2011.164.issue-4 PMID:21545412

  20. A framework for integrating the songbird brain

    PubMed Central

    Smith, V.A.; Wada, K.; Rivas, M.V.; McElroy, M.; Smulders, T.V.; Carninci, P.; Hayashizaki, Y.; Dietrich, F.; Wu, X.; McConnell, P.; Yu, J.; Wang, P.P.; Hartemink, A.J.; Lin, S.

    2008-01-01

    Biological systems by default involve complex components with complex relationships. To decipher how biological systems work, we assume that one needs to integrate information over multiple levels of complexity. The songbird vocal communication system is ideal for such integration due to many years of ethological investigation and a discreet dedicated brain network. Here we announce the beginnings of a songbird brain integrative project that involves high-throughput, molecular, anatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral levels of analysis. We first formed a rationale for inclusion of specific biological levels of analysis, then developed high-throughput molecular technologies on songbird brains, developed technologies for combined analysis of electrophysiological activity and gene regulation in awake behaving animals, and developed bioinformatic tools that predict causal interactions within and between biological levels of organization. This integrative brain project is fitting for the interdisciplinary approaches taken in the current songbird issue of the Journal of Comparative Physiology A and is expected to be conducive to deciphering how brains generate and perceive complex behaviors. PMID:12471494

  1. Effects of short-term isolation on the locomotor activity of the angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare).

    PubMed

    Gómez-Laplaza, L M; Morgan, E

    1991-12-01

    Two experiments were conducted to test in angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) some implications of Gallup and Suarez's (1980) ethological model of open-field behavior and to differentiate between the initial locomotor effects of a novel environment and those of isolation per se. Juveniles placed alone in a novel environment initially showed increased locomotion compared with their previous level when kept as a group and with that of fish placed in the novel environment in groups of three and five. When placed alone in a novel tank, individuals that had already been isolated for 10 days moved about less than those that had been isolated for 4 days. During isolation, angelfish significantly reduced activity to a minimum after 3 to 4 days, and after 10 days the level was still lower than in the group situation. The results suggest that, in addition to birds and rodents, Gallup and Suarez's model is applicable to fish and may account for the effects of longer exposure to a novel environment. PMID:1778069

  2. Wireless Monitoring of Changes in Crew Relations during Long-Duration Mission Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Johannes, Bernd; Sitev, Alexej S.; Vinokhodova, Alla G.; Salnitski, Vyacheslav P.; Savchenko, Eduard G.; Artyukhova, Anna E.; Bubeev, Yuri A.; Tafforin, Carole; Basner, Mathias; Dinges, David F.; Rittweger, Jörn

    2015-01-01

    Group structure and cohesion along with their changes over time play an important role in the success of missions where crew members spend prolonged periods of time under conditions of isolation and confinement. Therefore, an objective system for unobtrusive monitoring of crew cohesion and possible individual stress reactions is of high interest. For this purpose, an experimental wireless group structure (WLGS) monitoring system integrated into a mobile psychophysiological system was developed. In the presented study the WLGS module was evaluated separately in six male subjects (27–38 years old) participating in a 520-day simulated mission to Mars. Two days per week, each crew member wore a small sensor that registered the presence and distance of the sensors either worn by the other subjects or strategically placed throughout the isolation facility. The registration between two sensors was on average 91.0% in accordance. A correspondence of 95.7% with the survey video on day 475 confirmed external reliability. An integrated score of the “crew relation time index” was calculated and analyzed over time. Correlation analyses of a sociometric questionnaire (r = .35-.55, p< .05) and an ethological group approach (r = .45-.66, p < 05) provided initial evidence of the method's validity as a measure of cohesion when taking behavioral and activity patterns into account (e.g. only including activity phases in the afternoon). This confirms our assumption that the registered amount of time spent together during free time is associated with the intensity of personal relationships. PMID:26252656

  3. [Food habits and winter diet of Charadrius melodus (Charadriiformes: Charadriidae) in Boca Ciega, Tamaulipas, Mexico].

    PubMed

    Banda-Villanueva, Iris; Contreras-Lozano, Jorge; Garcia-Salas, Juan; González-Páez, Hugo

    2013-06-01

    The Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) is a migratory endangered species that arrives, along with a great number of other winter migratory birds, to Boca Ciega every year. In spite of the importance of this ecosystem, these species, are threatened by the current habitat change caused by the dredging activities in the area. With the aim to generate new information about the importance of this area during winter, we studied C melodus activities during the winter season in Laguna Madre, from December 2009 to March 2010. Our objectives were: 1) determine the importance of the area during winter, 2) describe C. melodus ethology, feeding substrate preferences and food items, 3) to analyze and describe the sympatric diversity associated with C melodus. A total of ninety nine individuals were observed during the monitoring. The Cochran and Kendall test showed a high significance of the species with the substrate and signs tests using a binomial distribution that indicated a high preference for algal type of substrate. The highest activity recorded for this species during this winter season was feeding. The principal food items found in sediments were larvae of Diptera: Chironomidae and Ephydridae. The sympatric species of C. melodus were two families of Charadriiforms: Scolopacidae (nine species) and Charadriidae (two species). We concluded that this is an important area for feeding, protection and rest sites for this species, and its protection and management is recommended. PMID:23885594

  4. Evolution of birdsong syntax by interjection communication.

    PubMed

    Sasahara, Kazutoshi; Ikegami, Takashi

    2007-01-01

    Animals use diverse forms of communication, from sound signals to body postures. Recent ethological studies have reported a unique syntactic communication of a songbird, the Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica). Male Bengalese finches sing complex courtship songs, which can be reconstructed by finite automata, and female Bengalese finches prefer complex songs, as opposed to monotonous or random ones. These facts suggest that the song syntaxes of male birds may have evolved as a result of sexual selection by female birds. Inspired by this hypothesis, we developed a communication model that is a system coupling different types of automaton, one for song production by males and another for song evaluation by females. We applied this model to study the evolution of syntactic animal communication in terms of the self-organization of coevolving automata. Three types of courting strategies as well as a relationship between the song syntax and female preference emerged. We argue that despite the simple communication involved, the complexity and diversity of song syntaxes can evolve via diverse female preferences. PMID:17567245

  5. Programming of stress-related behavior and epigenetic neural gene regulation in mice offspring through maternal exposure to predator odor

    PubMed Central

    St-Cyr, Sophie; McGowan, Patrick O.

    2015-01-01

    Perinatal stress mediated through the mother can lead to long-term alterations in stress-related phenotypes in offspring. The capacity for adaptation to adversity in early life depends in part on the life history of the animal. This study was designed to examine the behavioral and neural response in adult offspring to prenatal exposure to predator odor: an ethologically-relevant psychological stressor. Pregnant mice were exposed daily to predator odors or distilled water control over the second half of the pregnancy. Predator odor exposure lead to a transient decrease in maternal care in the mothers. As adults, the offspring of predator odor-exposed mothers showed increased anti-predator behavior, a predator-odor induced decrease in activity and, in female offspring, an increased corticosterone (CORT) response to predator odor exposure. We found a highly specific response among stress-related genes within limbic brain regions. Transcript abundance of Corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1) was elevated in the amygdala in adult female offspring of predator odor-exposed mothers. In the hippocampus of adult female offspring, decreased Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) transcript abundance was correlated with a site-specific decrease in DNA methylation in Bdnf exon IV, indicating the potential contribution of this epigenetic mechanism to maternal programming by maternal predator odor exposure. These data indicate that maternal predator odor exposure alone is sufficient to induce an altered stress-related phenotype in adulthood, with implications for anti-predator behavior in offspring. PMID:26082698

  6. Neurobehavioural Effects of Hypergravity Exposure in CD-1 Mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santucci, Daniela; Francia, Nadia; Aloe, Luigi; Enrico, Alleva

    The effects of spaceflight on the nervous system physiology could have important implications for the prolonged stay outside Earth's gravitational field. In this view, both ground-based and space research using animal models represent useful tools to investigate the impact of gravity (hypergravity, microgravity and weightlessness) on the nervous system and behaviour. Data coming from these studies, besides acquisition of knowledge relevant for spaceflights and pro-longed permanence of both humans and animals in space, could provide insight into basic bio-logical phenomena underlying the plasticity of the nervous system and its adaptive responses to a changing environment. Most ground experiments employing animal models use the paradigm of hypergravity exposure with the expectation that behavioural and physiological reactions to this environment might help to explain reactions to the microgravity challenge faced by or-biting animals. An overview of ground-based experiments set up to investigate the effects of changes of gravitational environment on the neurobehavioural responses of CD-1 mouse will be reported, and will illustrate the short-, medium-and long-term behavioural and neurobiological consequences of hypergravity exposure both at adulthood and during early and late postnatal development. Moreover, since mother-pup interaction is critical for the survival and the devel-opment of neonatal rodents, especially in an extreme environment such as that of space, we characterized, exploiting ethological methods, changes in maternal behaviour of CD-1 outbred mouse dams exposed to mild hypergravity. The results of these experiments will be discussed.

  7. Measuring motivation in swine: the food-metric scale.

    PubMed

    Patterson-Kane, Emily G; Kirkden, Richard D; Pajor, Edmond A

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how nonhuman animals such as swine respond to their environment and understanding how to provide them with a good quality of life involves using a range of experimental approaches. More and more, ethological researchers are turning to operant methods to answer some of these questions. Employing an operant such as a lever, researchers can assess how hard animals will work to get access to environmental resources: increased space or social contact. It is difficult, however, to determine how the effort made by the animals relates to the degree to which they need the resource and, in particular, how to interpret intermediate levels of responding. One approach to understanding the level of need is to compare it with familiar states of deprivation such as hunger. Food is an environmental resource known to range from low to high value depending on deprivation level. Depriving animals of a fixed proportion of their daily ad libitum intake allows the animals to demonstrate the levels of responding produced at satiation: 23 hr deprivation and a range of intermediate points. The resulting scale has both empirical and intuitive value and can help in understanding the value of various degrees of operant effort. Ultimately, this information will help in deciding which environmental conditions should be provided to swine as part of routine husbandry. PMID:22044291

  8. Floral isolation between ornithophilous and sphingophilous species of Ipomopsis and Aquilegia.

    PubMed Central

    Grant, V

    1992-01-01

    The Ipomopsis aggregata group (Polemoniaceae) and Aquilegia formosa-Aquilegia caerulea group (Ranunculaceae) in western North America contain species with ornithophilous flowers and related species with sphingophilous flowers. The ornithophilous and sphingophilous species are sympatric over large areas and remain distinct in some sites where they grow close together. Floral isolation-a combination of mechanical and ethological isolation-plays a significant role in the reproductive isolation. The primary pollinators of the ornithophilous taxa are the common western American species of hummingbirds, and the primary pollinators of the sphingophilous taxa are western hawkmoths. The ornithophilous and sphingophilous flowers are adapted to their respective primary pollinators. A corollary of these specializations is that the differences between the two types of floral mechanisms significantly reduce interspecific pollination. The floral isolation is incomplete. However, it acts not alone but in conjunction with ecological and seasonal isolation, which are also incomplete. The combination of these three incomplete external isolating mechanisms is sufficient to maintain the distinctness of the ornithophilous and sphingophilous species in some areas of sympatric coexistence. PMID:11607343

  9. Brain disorders and the biological role of music.

    PubMed

    Clark, Camilla N; Downey, Laura E; Warren, Jason D

    2015-03-01

    Despite its evident universality and high social value, the ultimate biological role of music and its connection to brain disorders remain poorly understood. Recent findings from basic neuroscience have shed fresh light on these old problems. New insights provided by clinical neuroscience concerning the effects of brain disorders promise to be particularly valuable in uncovering the underlying cognitive and neural architecture of music and for assessing candidate accounts of the biological role of music. Here we advance a new model of the biological role of music in human evolution and the link to brain disorders, drawing on diverse lines of evidence derived from comparative ethology, cognitive neuropsychology and neuroimaging studies in the normal and the disordered brain. We propose that music evolved from the call signals of our hominid ancestors as a means mentally to rehearse and predict potentially costly, affectively laden social routines in surrogate, coded, low-cost form: essentially, a mechanism for transforming emotional mental states efficiently and adaptively into social signals. This biological role of music has its legacy today in the disordered processing of music and mental states that characterizes certain developmental and acquired clinical syndromes of brain network disintegration. PMID:24847111

  10. Skimming behaviour and spreading potential of Stenus species and Dianous coerulescens (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Carolin; Seifert, Karlheinz; Dettner, Konrad

    2012-11-01

    Rove beetles of the genus Stenus Latreille and the genus Dianous Leach possess pygidial glands containing a multifunctional secretion of piperidine and pyridine-derived alkaloids as well as several terpenes. One important character of this secretion is the spreading potential of its different compounds, stenusine, norstenusine, 3-(2-methyl-1-butenyl)pyridine, cicindeloine, α-pinene, 1,8-cineole and 6-methyl-5-heptene-2-one. The individual secretion composition enables the beetles to skim rapidly and far over the water surface, even when just a small amount of secretion is emitted. Ethological investigations of several Stenus species revealed that the skimming ability, skimming velocity and the skimming behaviour differ between the Stenus species. These differences can be linked to varied habitat claims and secretion saving mechanisms. By means of tensiometer measurements using the pendant drop method, the spreading pressure of all secretion constituents as well as some naturally identical beetle secretions on the water surface could be established. The compound 3-(2-methyl-1-butenyl)pyridine excelled stenusine believed to date to be mainly responsible for skimming relating to its surface activity. The naturally identical secretions are not subject to synergistic effects of the single compounds concerning the spreading potential. Furthermore, evolutionary aspects of the Steninae's pygidial gland secretion are discussed.

  11. Topographical evaluation of behavioural phenotype in a line of mice with targeted gene deletion of the D2 dopamine receptor.

    PubMed

    Clifford, J J; Usiello, A; Vallone, D; Kinsella, A; Borrelli, E; Waddington, J L

    2000-01-28

    The phenotype of spontaneous and dopamine D2-like agonist-induced behaviour was assessed topographically in a line of mice with targeted gene deletion of the D1 receptor. An ethologically-based, rapid time-sampling behavioural check-list technique was used to resolve and quantify all behaviours in the natural repertoire of the mouse. Relative to wildtypes [D2+/+], D2-null [D2-/-] mice evidenced over a 1 h period of initial exploration modest but significant reductions in locomotion, grooming, rearing free and rearing to wall; rearing seated, sniffing, sifting and stillness were not altered. Individual elements of behaviour habituated similarly over a 6 h period for both genotypes. The dose-dependent induction of stereotyped sniffing and ponderous locomotion by the D2-like agonist RU 24213 (0.1-12.5 mg/kg) in wildtypes was essentially absent in D2-null mice. The ethogram of spontaneous behaviour in D2-null mice was characterised by only modest reductions in, and topographical shifts between, certain individual elements of behaviour. Essential abolition of D2-like agonist responsivity in D2-null mice vis-à-vis considerable preservation of spontaneous behavioural topography suggests compensatory processes subsequent to developmental absence of the D2 receptor that are able to sustain function under naturalistic, tonic conditions but not during phasic challenge. PMID:10698004

  12. Shadows on a changing landscape: comparing nesting patterns of hominids and chimpanzees since their last common ancestor.

    PubMed

    Sept, J

    1998-01-01

    Studying the evolution of nesting behavior within the human-chimpanzee clade is problematic because evidence is sparse and difficult to interpret. Lacking a fossil or archaeological record for proto-chimpanzees, reconstructions of the antecedents of modern chimp nesting patterns can be reconstructed only from careful studies of variation in current chimpanzee and bonobo nesting patterns within the context of spatial and temporal landscape parameters. The ethology of nesting also provides an important frame of reference for reconstructions of early hominid nesting behavior. If the contemporary contrast between human and chimpanzee nesting patterns is seen as an evolutionary dichotomy, then African prehistoric landmarks that mark the origin of this split might include bipedalism and the origins of the hominidae, the first stone tools and the origins of Homo, the developmental and behavioral adaptations of Homo ergaster, shifts in Late Acheulian settlement patterns, and the origins of anatomically modern humans and the Middle Stone Age. The issue of whether Early Stone Age archaeological sites were used for nesting is unresolved because potential markers of such behavior, such as hearths, structures, or bedding, are not unambiguously recognizable in the archaeological record until the Middle Stone Age. PMID:9730215

  13. Arthrophycus in the Silurian of Alabama (USA) and the problem of compound trace fossils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rindsberg, A.K.; Martin, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    Arthrophycus brongniartii (Harlan, 1832) is common in marginal-marine deposits in the Silurian Red Mountain Formation of Alabama. The ichnospecies, the second to be named in North America, is revived and emended after long disuse. Transitional forms to Rusophycus isp. and other morphologic evidence indicate that the maker of Arthrophycus was an arthropod, perhaps a trinucleine (raphiophorid?) trilobite. Interconnection of Arthrophycus and Nereites biserialis, as well as intergradation of Arthrophycus with Cruziana aff. quadrata, Phycodes flabellum, and Asterosoma ludwigae, indicate that these Red Mountain trace fossils were made by the same species of arthropod. Possible relationships with Arthrophycus alleghaniensis (Harlan, 1831) in the Silurian belt from Ontario to Tennessee are also explored. Ichnofamily Arthrophycidae Schimper, 1879 is emended. The ichnofamily is interpreted as chiefly the work of arthropods. Arthrophycus and other trace fossils from the Silurian of Alabama constitute a test case to build criteria for recognizing the members of complexes of trace fossils. In general, criteria such as interconnection of different forms, intergradation among unconnected forms, similarity of size, similarity of morphologic elements, and co-occurrence should be examined in order to determine the biologic and ethologic interrelationships of trace fossils. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Spatial reversal learning is impaired by age in pet dogs.

    PubMed

    Mongillo, Paolo; Araujo, Joseph A; Pitteri, Elisa; Carnier, Paolo; Adamelli, Serena; Regolin, Lucia; Marinelli, Lieta

    2013-12-01

    Aged dogs spontaneously develop progressive decline in both cognitive and behavioral function, in addition to neuropathological changes, that collectively parallel several aspects of human aging and Alzheimer's disease progression and likely contribute to the development of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. In the current study, ethologically relevant spatial learning, retention, and reversal learning tasks were conducted, with the goal of expanding canine neuropsychological testing to pet dogs. Initially, dogs (N = 44, aged 7.8 ± 2.8 years, mean ± SD) had to learn which of two alternative routes successfully led out of a T-maze. Two weeks later, long-term memory retention was assessed, immediately followed by a reversal learning task in which the previously correct route out of the maze was reversed compared with the initial learning and memory retention tasks. No effects of age were evident on the learning or retention tasks. However, older (≥ 8 years) dogs were significantly impaired on the reversal learning task compared with younger ones (< 8 years). Moreover, trial response latency was significantly increased in aged dogs across both the initial and reversal learning tasks but not on the retention task, which suggests that processing speed was impaired by increasing age during the acquisition of novel spatial information but not during performance of previously learned responses. Overall, the current study provides a framework for assessing cognitive function in pet dogs, which should improve understanding of the effects of aging on cognition in the dog population. PMID:23529504

  15. Behavioural methods used in rodent models of autism spectrum disorders: current standards and new developments.

    PubMed

    Wöhr, Markus; Scattoni, Maria Luisa

    2013-08-15

    Autism is a behaviourally defined disorder including attenuated or abnormal social interaction and communication, as well as aberrant repetitive behaviour, with symptoms emerging early in childhood. Although the cause of autism has not been discovered, several data strongly support the role of genetic factors in autism aetiology. For this reason, preclinical research is now focusing on generating transgenic and knockout mice, and more recently also rats, with mutations in genes identified in autistic children, with the main aim of understanding the role of those genes in autism aetiology, discovering the biological mechanisms underlying autistic behaviours detected in these mutant lines and evaluating potential treatments. Over the last years, a huge number of behavioural phenotyping assays for rodent models of autism and related disorders have been designed. In the first part of our review, we focus on current standards, i.e. state-of-the-art behavioural phenotyping tasks to assess autism core symptoms in rodent models. The second part is devoted to some few, in our view, very promising examples of new developments, namely an autism severity score, scent marking behaviour as an additional, ethologically valid measure for communication, plus a number of new developments in the behavioural domains of social facilitation, observational learning, and empathy. Finally, we will highlight the huge potential impact of newly generated rat knockout models of autism. PMID:23769995

  16. Studies on the effects of the antiandrogen cyproterone acetate on social encounters between pairs of male mice.

    PubMed

    Perez, V S; Martinez, M; Castano, D; Brain, P F; Hasan, S

    1988-08-01

    An attempt was made in two experiments to reinvestigate the effects of the antiandrogen cyproterone acetate (CA) on mouse social behavior in a variety of ethologically-assessed paired encounters. The data confirm that CA reduces offense (threat and attack) in animals when both subjects receive the material but that CA has no such action in other pairings. This suggests that CA's major suppressive effect on "hostility" is expressed in mice via a reduction in "attack-promoting" pheromone production. Indeed, there was evidence in the more chronic study that CA, could augment (via a central mechanism?) offense in subjects paired with docile anosmic opponents. Changes in defense were largely responses to variations in the degree of attack to which animals were subjected. The antihormone also had actions on other aspects of behavior including sexual activity, social investigation and immobility in such tests. CA had a potent suppressive action on the weights of sex accessory glands. The data do not suggest that CA can be used as a specific antihostility agent. PMID:2972660

  17. Maternally inherited architecture in tertiary leaf beetles: paleoichnology of cryptocephaline fecal cases in Dominican and Baltic amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaboo, Caroline S.; Engel, Michael S.; Chamorro-Lacayo, Maria Lourdes

    2009-09-01

    Complex ethological adaptations and intraspecific interactions leave few fossil traces. We document three Dominican (20 million years old [myo]) and Baltic (45 myo) amber fossils that exhibit firm evidence of highly integrated interactions between mothers and offspring in the diverse camptosomate lineage of beetles (Chrysomelidae, leaf beetles). As in contemporary species, these hard cases were initially constructed by mothers, then inherited and retained by offspring, which then elaborate this protective domicile with an unusual but economical building material, their feces. The three fossils are classified in the Subfamily Cryptocephalinae; two are classified in the tribe Chlamisini based on morphological evidence—the flattened head lacking a sharp keel and long legs with simple recurved untoothed claws. These diagnostic features are not clearly visible in the third specimen to permit more refined identification. These fossils provide more precise paleontological dating of tribal nodes within the cryptocephaline radiation of leaf beetles. These fossils are the first and earliest evidence of mother-offspring interaction, building behavior, and fecal recycling in Camptosomata beetles and of inheritance of architectural structures in beetles.

  18. Sociality, stress, and the corpus striatum of the green anolis lizard.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Neil

    2003-08-01

    The green anolis lizard, Anolis carolinensis, is a uniquely convenient species with great potential for providing insights about the causes and consequences of social behavior from an evolutionary perspective. In this species, social interactions are mediated by visual displays in which specific units of behavior are combined in various ways to communicate several more-or-less specific messages. Two related research programs that utilize this species converge in provocative ways to provide insight into this phenomenon. The first program is centered on the basal ganglia, now known to be crucial to the expression of aggressive territoriality in this species, and the second research program examines the way the physiological stress response is involved in aggression and its subsequent adaptive outcomes. Both the neural and the neuroendocrine systems affect the progress of social interactions as well as the subsequent social dominance relationships when combatants subsequently live together. Further, because body color depends almost exclusively on the stress response, skin color provides a unique in situ bioassay of otherwise inaccessible information about the animal's internal state. The fullest understanding of the physiological ethology of this model species will depend on an interdisciplinary approach that considers both proximate (physiological) and ultimate (evolutionary) causes of displays. Questions thus arising include how the nervous system controls and assembles the specific units of behavior-motor patterns and autonomic reflexes-into displays that are adaptive in specific contexts. PMID:12954437

  19. Random Sampling of Squamate Reptiles in Spanish Natural Reserves Reveals the Presence of Novel Adenoviruses in Lacertids (Family Lacertidae) and Worm Lizards (Amphisbaenia).

    PubMed

    Szirovicza, Leonóra; López, Pilar; Kopena, Renáta; Benkő, Mária; Martín, José; Pénzes, Judit J

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the results of a large-scale PCR survey on the prevalence and diversity of adenoviruses (AdVs) in samples collected randomly from free-living reptiles. On the territories of the Guadarrama Mountains National Park in Central Spain and of the Chafarinas Islands in North Africa, cloacal swabs were taken from 318 specimens of eight native species representing five squamate reptilian families. The healthy-looking animals had been captured temporarily for physiological and ethological examinations, after which they were released. We found 22 AdV-positive samples in representatives of three species, all from Central Spain. Sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed the existence of three hitherto unknown AdVs in 11 Carpetane rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni), nine Iberian worm lizards (Blanus cinereus), and two Iberian green lizards (Lacerta schreiberi), respectively. Phylogeny inference showed every novel putative virus to be a member of the genus Atadenovirus. This is the very first description of the occurrence of AdVs in amphisbaenian and lacertid hosts. Unlike all squamate atadenoviruses examined previously, two of the novel putative AdVs had A+T rich DNA, a feature generally deemed to mirror previous host switch events. Our results shed new light on the diversity and evolution of atadenoviruses. PMID:27399970

  20. Animal models as tools to study the pathophysiology of depression.

    PubMed

    Abelaira, Helena M; Réus, Gislaine Z; Quevedo, João

    2013-01-01

    The incidence of depressive illness is high worldwide, and the inadequacy of currently available drug treatments contributes to the significant health burden associated with depression. A basic understanding of the underlying disease processes in depression is lacking; therefore, recreating the disease in animal models is not possible. Popular current models of depression creatively merge ethologically valid behavioral assays with the latest technological advances in molecular biology. Within this context, this study aims to evaluate animal models of depression and determine which has the best face, construct, and predictive validity. These models differ in the degree to which they produce features that resemble a depressive-like state, and models that include stress exposure are widely used. Paradigms that employ acute or sub-chronic stress exposure include learned helplessness, the forced swimming test, the tail suspension test, maternal deprivation, chronic mild stress, and sleep deprivation, to name but a few, all of which employ relatively short-term exposure to inescapable or uncontrollable stress and can reliably detect antidepressant drug response. PMID:24271223

  1. Fluvial trace fossils in the Middle Siwalik (Sarmatian-Pontian) of Darjeeling Himalayas, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, Abhijit; Hasiotis, Stephen T.; Ghosh, Bhaskar; Bhattacharya, Harendra Nath

    2013-08-01

    Trace fossils that record animal and plant activity are described for the first time from the Middle Siwalik, Neogene deposits of Darjeeling Himalaya. Sedimentary facies association attests to a channel-interchannel floodplain fluviatile setting. The intimate association of the burrows with phytoliths, rhizoliths, leaf compressions and coal lenses suggest that the tracemakers dominated a floodplain habitat. Point bar deposits host a low diversity Planolites-Naktodemasis-Macanopsis-Cylindricum equilibrium ichnocoenosis in the heterolithic fine sandstone-siltstone-shale facies that alternates with dense, monospecific colonization of Planolites as opportunistic pioneers relocating under stressed condition. Interlayered floodplain deposits in the fluvial successions preserve enigmatic large diameter, vertical tubes within thin to thick-bedded, dark silty shale facies. These tubes bear mixed characters assignable to both crayfish burrows and large-diameter rhizoliths. Further work on these tubes is necessary to make more accurate interpretations of those structures. Shallow to moderate burrow depths; intermittent, short-lived colonization events and preservation of rhizoliths and rhizohalos under fluctuating moisture content indicate short-term fluctuations of a relatively high water table (close to the paleosurface) in an imperfectly drained proximal floodplain setting. Ichnotaxa distribution and their inferred ethology provide significant faunal data that may put constraints on the reconstruction of Middle Siwalik depositional environment.

  2. Marble burying as a test of the delayed anxiogenic effects of acute immobilisation stress in mice.

    PubMed

    Kedia, Sonal; Chattarji, Sumantra

    2014-08-15

    A majority of rodent studies characterizing the anxiogenic effects of stress have utilized exploration-based models, such as the elevated plus-maze. An alternative strategy has relied on ethologically natural behavior such as defensive burying. One such paradigm, marble burying, has proven to be an effective behavioral assay of the anxiolytic effects of pharmacological manipulations, and of genetically modified mouse models. Relatively little, however, is known about the sensitivity of this test in assessing the anxiogenic effects of stress. Most of the earlier reports have examined the immediate, but not more long-term, effects of pharmacological or environmental manipulations in mice. Hence, we used the marble burying test to examine if acute immobilization stress leads to enhanced anxiety-like behavior in C57Bl/6 mice if the test is employed with a significant time delay. We find this test to be sensitive enough to detect the anxiogenic effects even 10 days after a single episode of 2-h immobilization stress. Our results suggest that the marble burying test could serve as a useful behavioral paradigm for not only estimating the gradual progression of the anxiogenic impact of stress over time, but also raises the possibility of using the temporal delay after stress to test the potential efficacy of post-stress interventions with anxiolytic drugs. PMID:24932962

  3. High trait anxiety and hyporeactivity to stress of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex: a combined phMRI and Fos study in rats.

    PubMed

    Kalisch, Raffael; Salomé, Nicolas; Platzer, Stefan; Wigger, Alexandra; Czisch, Michael; Sommer, Wolfgang; Singewald, Nicolas; Heilig, Markus; Berthele, Achim; Holsboer, Florian; Landgraf, Rainer; Auer, Dorothee P

    2004-09-01

    The neural basis of trait anxiety is poorly understood. In genetically selected hyperanxious (high anxiety-related behavior; HAB) rats, diazepam induces a stronger anxiolytic response than in hypoanxious (low anxiety-related behavior; LAB) rats. A screen for neuronal response differences to diazepam between HAB and LAB rats using pharmacologic fMRI (phMRI) at 7 T revealed a blunted diazepam-induced neuronal deactivation in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) of HABs. This was not due to reduced benzodiazepine (BDZ) receptor densities in this region. Instead, dmPFC tissue oxygenation at baseline was found to be significantly lower in HABs. This suggests a tonic relative hypoactivity under the highly stressful phMRI conditions, offering an explanation for the reduced responsivity to the neural depressant effect of diazepam in the sense of a floor effect. Subsequently, Fos immunoreactivity (Fos-IR) showed that ethologically relevant stressors also cause less dmPFC activation in HABs. In the context of an anxiety-inhibiting role of the dmPFC, we propose that failure to sufficiently activate this region in stressful situations may contribute to high trait anxiety. PMID:15325386

  4. Conjugating time and frequency: hemispheric specialization, acoustic uncertainty, and the mustached bat.

    PubMed

    Washington, Stuart D; Tillinghast, John S

    2015-01-01

    A prominent hypothesis of hemispheric specialization for human speech and music states that the left and right auditory cortices (ACs) are respectively specialized for precise calculation of two canonically-conjugate variables: time and frequency. This spectral-temporal asymmetry does not account for sex, brain-volume, or handedness, and is in opposition to closed-system hypotheses that restrict this asymmetry to humans. Mustached bats have smaller brains, but greater ethological pressures to develop such a spectral-temporal asymmetry, than humans. Using the Heisenberg-Gabor Limit (i.e., the mathematical basis of the spectral-temporal asymmetry) to frame mustached bat literature, we show that recent findings in bat AC (1) support the notion that hemispheric specialization for speech and music is based on hemispheric differences in temporal and spectral resolution, (2) discredit closed-system, handedness, and brain-volume theories, (3) underscore the importance of sex differences, and (4) provide new avenues for phonological research. PMID:25926767

  5. Assessment of social cognition in non-human primates using a network of computerized automated learning device (ALDM) test systems.

    PubMed

    Fagot, Joël; Marzouki, Yousri; Huguet, Pascal; Gullstrand, Julie; Claidière, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Fagot & Paleressompoulle(1) and Fagot & Bonte(2) have published an automated learning device (ALDM) for the study of cognitive abilities of monkeys maintained in semi-free ranging conditions. Data accumulated during the last five years have consistently demonstrated the efficiency of this protocol to investigate individual/physical cognition in monkeys, and have further shown that this procedure reduces stress level during animal testing(3). This paper demonstrates that networks of ALDM can also be used to investigate different facets of social cognition and in-group expressed behaviors in monkeys, and describes three illustrative protocols developed for that purpose. The first study demonstrates how ethological assessments of social behavior and computerized assessments of cognitive performance could be integrated to investigate the effects of socially exhibited moods on the cognitive performance of individuals. The second study shows that batteries of ALDM running in parallel can provide unique information on the influence of the presence of others on task performance. Finally, the last study shows that networks of ALDM test units can also be used to study issues related to social transmission and cultural evolution. Combined together, these three studies demonstrate clearly that ALDM testing is a highly promising experimental tool for bridging the gap in the animal literature between research on individual cognition and research on social cognition. PMID:25992495

  6. Experience-dependent overrepresentation of ultrasonic vocalization frequencies in the rat primary auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Heesoo

    2013-01-01

    Cortical sensory representation is highly adaptive to the environment, and prevalent or behaviorally important stimuli are often overrepresented. One class of such stimuli is species-specific vocalizations. Rats vocalize in the ultrasonic range >30 kHz, but cortical representation of this frequency range has not been systematically examined. We recorded in vivo cortical electrophysiological responses to ultrasonic pure-tone pips, natural ultrasonic vocalizations, and pitch-shifted vocalizations to assess how rats represent this ethologically relevant frequency range. We find that nearly 40% of the primary auditory cortex (AI) represents an octave-wide band of ultrasonic vocalization frequencies (UVFs; 32–64 kHz) compared with <20% for other octave bands <32 kHz. These UVF neurons respond preferentially and reliably to ultrasonic vocalizations. The UVF overrepresentation matures in the cortex before it develops in the central nucleus of inferior colliculus, suggesting a cortical origin and corticofugal influences. Furthermore, the development of cortical UVF overrepresentation depends on early acoustic experience. These results indicate that natural sensory experience causes large-scale cortical map reorganization and improves representations of species-specific vocalizations. PMID:23741037

  7. Conjugating time and frequency: hemispheric specialization, acoustic uncertainty, and the mustached bat

    PubMed Central

    Washington, Stuart D.; Tillinghast, John S.

    2015-01-01

    A prominent hypothesis of hemispheric specialization for human speech and music states that the left and right auditory cortices (ACs) are respectively specialized for precise calculation of two canonically-conjugate variables: time and frequency. This spectral-temporal asymmetry does not account for sex, brain-volume, or handedness, and is in opposition to closed-system hypotheses that restrict this asymmetry to humans. Mustached bats have smaller brains, but greater ethological pressures to develop such a spectral-temporal asymmetry, than humans. Using the Heisenberg-Gabor Limit (i.e., the mathematical basis of the spectral-temporal asymmetry) to frame mustached bat literature, we show that recent findings in bat AC (1) support the notion that hemispheric specialization for speech and music is based on hemispheric differences in temporal and spectral resolution, (2) discredit closed-system, handedness, and brain-volume theories, (3) underscore the importance of sex differences, and (4) provide new avenues for phonological research. PMID:25926767

  8. A Family of non-GPCR Chemosensors Defines an Alternative Logic for Mammalian Olfaction.

    PubMed

    Greer, Paul L; Bear, Daniel M; Lassance, Jean-Marc; Bloom, Maria Lissitsyna; Tsukahara, Tatsuya; Pashkovski, Stan L; Masuda, Francis Kei; Nowlan, Alexandra C; Kirchner, Rory; Hoekstra, Hopi E; Datta, Sandeep Robert

    2016-06-16

    Odor perception in mammals is mediated by parallel sensory pathways that convey distinct information about the olfactory world. Multiple olfactory subsystems express characteristic seven-transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in a one-receptor-per-neuron pattern that facilitates odor discrimination. Sensory neurons of the "necklace" subsystem are nestled within the recesses of the olfactory epithelium and detect diverse odorants; however, they do not express known GPCR odor receptors. Here, we report that members of the four-pass transmembrane MS4A protein family are chemosensors expressed within necklace sensory neurons. These receptors localize to sensory endings and confer responses to ethologically relevant ligands, including pheromones and fatty acids, in vitro and in vivo. Individual necklace neurons co-express many MS4A proteins and are activated by multiple MS4A ligands; this pooling of information suggests that the necklace is organized more like subsystems for taste than for smell. The MS4As therefore define a distinct mechanism and functional logic for mammalian olfaction. PMID:27238024

  9. Cognitive deficits and decreased locomotor activity induced by single-walled carbon nanotubes and neuroprotective effects of ascorbic acid.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xudong; Zhang, Yuchao; Li, Jinquan; Wang, Dong; Wu, Yang; Li, Yan; Lu, Zhisong; Yu, Samuel C T; Li, Rui; Yang, Xu

    2014-01-01

    Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have shown increasing promise in the field of biomedicine, especially in applications related to the nervous system. However, there are limited studies available on the neurotoxicity of SWCNTs used in vivo. In this study, neurobehavioral changes caused by SWCNTs in mice and oxidative stress were investigated. The results of ethological analysis (Morris water maze and open-field test), brain histopathological examination, and assessments of oxidative stress (reactive oxygen species [ROS], malondialdehyde [MDA], and glutathione [GSH]), inflammation (nuclear factor κB, tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-1β), and apoptosis (cysteine-aspartic acid protease 3) in brains showed that 6.25 and 12.50 mg/kg/day SWCNTs in mice could induce cognitive deficits and decreased locomotor activity, brain histopathological alterations, and increased levels of oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in mouse brains; however, 3.125 mg/kg/day SWCNTs had zero or minor adverse effects in mice, and these effects were blocked by concurrent administration of ascorbic acid. Down-regulation of oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis were proposed to explain the neuroprotective effects of ascorbic acid. This work suggests SWCNTs could induce cognitive deficits and decreased locomotor activity, and provides a strategy to avoid the adverse effects. PMID:24596461

  10. Neurocomputational model of moral behaviour.

    PubMed

    Plebe, Alessio

    2015-12-01

    Our understanding of human morality has dramatically improved in the last decades, thanks to efforts carried out with scientific methods, in addition to the traditional speculative approach. Substantial contributions and relevant empirical data have come from neuroscience, psychology, genetics, comparative ethology, anthropology, and the social sciences. In this fruitful synergy, one useful approach is still missing: computational modeling. More precisely, a neurocomputational model aimed at simulating forms of moral behavior, to our knowledge, has not yet been designed. The purpose of this work is to start filling this gap, proposing MOral Neural Engine (MONE), a model that simulates the emergence of moral cognition. The neural engine in this model is assumed to be based in frontal areas, specifically the orbitofrontal and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and in connections to limbic areas involved in emotions and reward, such as the ventral striatum and the amygdala. Moral cognition is probably the result of a collection of several different neural processes, activated depending on the type of moral problem, each associated with a variety of emotions. This model, in its first implementation, deals with only a single moral situation: stealing someone's food, a transgression that typically elicits guilt, learned in the model from the angry facial expressions of the victim. PMID:26585964

  11. Variation in social relationships relates to song preferences and EGR1 expression in a female songbird.

    PubMed

    Schubloom, Hannah E; Woolley, Sarah C

    2016-09-01

    Social experiences can profoundly shape social behavior and the underlying neural circuits. Across species, the formation of enduring social relationships is associated with both neural and behavioral changes. However, it remains unclear how longer-term relationships between individuals influence brain and behavior. Here, we investigated how variation in social relationships relates to variation in female preferences for and neural responses to song in a pair-bonding songbird. We assessed variation in the interactions between individuals in male-female zebra finch pairs and found that female preferences for their mate's song were correlated with the degree of affiliation and amount of socially modulated singing, but not with the frequency of aggressive interactions. Moreover, variation in measures of pair quality and preference correlated with variation in the song-induced expression of EGR1, an immediate early gene related to neural activity and plasticity, in brain regions important for auditory processing and social behavior. For example, females with weaker preferences for their mate's song had greater EGR1 expression in the nucleus Taeniae, the avian homologue of the mammalian medial amygdala, in response to playback of their mate's courtship song. Our data indicate that the quality of social interactions within pairs relates to variation in song preferences and neural responses to ethologically relevant stimuli and lend insight into neural circuits sensitive to social information. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1029-1040, 2016. PMID:26713856

  12. From behavioural analyses to models of collective motion in fish schools

    PubMed Central

    Lopez, Ugo; Gautrais, Jacques; Couzin, Iain D.; Theraulaz, Guy

    2012-01-01

    Fish schooling is a phenomenon of long-lasting interest in ethology and ecology, widely spread across taxa and ecological contexts, and has attracted much interest from statistical physics and theoretical biology as a case of self-organized behaviour. One topic of intense interest is the search of specific behavioural mechanisms at stake at the individual level and from which the school properties emerges. This is fundamental for understanding how selective pressure acting at the individual level promotes adaptive properties of schools and in trying to disambiguate functional properties from non-adaptive epiphenomena. Decades of studies on collective motion by means of individual-based modelling have allowed a qualitative understanding of the self-organization processes leading to collective properties at school level, and provided an insight into the behavioural mechanisms that result in coordinated motion. Here, we emphasize a set of paradigmatic modelling assumptions whose validity remains unclear, both from a behavioural point of view and in terms of quantitative agreement between model outcome and empirical data. We advocate for a specific and biologically oriented re-examination of these assumptions through experimental-based behavioural analysis and modelling. PMID:24312723

  13. [A functional explanation of normative prescriptive-evaluative judgments and the concept of "evolutionary ethics"].

    PubMed

    Dorschel, A

    1992-01-01

    Neodarwinian ethology, today above all represented by sociobiology, is conceived of by responsible exponents as a descriptive and explanatory theory that cannot include any normative declarations. Still other, indeed notable, authors belonging to the discipline in question, either underhand or frankly employ prescriptive or evaluative judgments, or they claim (what is not an insight of natural science) that it is impossible to provide a rational foundation for prescriptive or evaluative judgments. (Michael Ruse and Edward O. Wilson even assert the latter without relinquishing the former.) Several functional explanations of normative validity claims advanced by Michael Ruse, Edward O. Wilson, Donald T. Campbell, Florian von Schilcher and Neil Tennant are designed to show that prescriptive or evaluative judgments cannot be justified. The reasonableness of this move is, however, dubious, because it implies strategies of raising oneself into a privileged status or of rendering the position of oneself immune from criticism by shifting it among the objects of the theory. Then Wilson's concept of 'evolutionary ethics' is thoroughly--and critically--analyzed. The suspicion that Wilson's fallacies in the transition from biological facts to moral norms are of exemplary nature is finally examined on the basis of tenets advanced by Herbert Spencer, Wolfgang Wickler, and Hans Mohr. PMID:1342729

  14. Comparison between two different methods for evaluating rumen papillae measures related to different diets.

    PubMed

    Scocco, Paola; Brusaferro, Andrea; Catorci, Andrea

    2012-07-01

    Although the Geographical Information System (GIS), which integrates computerized drawing computer assisted design (CAD) and relational databases (data base management system (DBMS)), is best known for applications in geographical and planning cartography, it can also use many kinds of information concerning the territory. A multidisciplinary project was initiated since 5 years a multidisciplinary study was initiated to use GIS to integrate environmental and ecological data with findings on animal health, ethology, and anatomy. This study is chiefly aimed at comparing two different methods for measuring the absorptive surface of rumen papillae. To this scope, 21 female sheep (Ovis aries) on different alimentary regimes (e.g., milk and forage mixed diet, early herbaceous diet, dry hay diet, and fresh hay diet at the maximum of pasture flowering and at the maximum of pasture dryness) were used; after slaughtering, 20 papillae were randomly removed from each sample collected from four indicator regions of rumen wall, placed near a metric reference and digitally photographed. The images were developed with the ArcGIS™ software to calculate the area of rumen papillae by means of GIS and to measure their mid-level width and length to calculate the papillae area as previously performed with a different method. Spatial measurements were analyzed using univariate and multivariate methods. This work demonstrates that the GIS methodology can be efficiently used for measuring the absorptive surface of rumen papillae. In addition, GIS demonstrated to be a rapid, precise, and objective tool when compared with previously used method. PMID:22223350

  15. Do aphids actively search for ant partners?

    PubMed

    Fischer, Christophe Y; Vanderplanck, Maryse; Lognay, Georges C; Detrain, Claire; Verheggen, François J

    2015-04-01

    The aphid-ant mutualistic relationships are not necessarily obligate for neither partners but evidence is that such interactions provide them strong advantages in terms of global fitness. While it is largely assumed that ants actively search for their mutualistic partners namely using volatile cues; whether winged aphids (i.e., aphids' most mobile form) are able to select ant-frequented areas had not been investigated so far. Ant-frequented sites would indeed offer several advantages for these aphids including a lower predation pressure through ant presence and enhanced chances of establishing mutuaslistic interactions with neighbor ant colonies. In the field, aphid colonies are often observed in higher densities around ant nests, which is probably linked to a better survival ensured by ants' services. Nevertheless, this could also result from a preferential establishment of winged aphids in ant-frequented areas. We tested this last hypothesis through different ethological assays and show that the facultative myrmecophilous black bean aphid, Aphis fabae L., does not orientate its search for a host plant preferentially toward ant-frequented plants. However, our results suggest that ants reduce the number of winged aphids leaving the newly colonized plant. Thus, ants involved in facultative myrmecophilous interactions with aphids appear to contribute to structure aphid populations in the field by ensuring a better establishment and survival of newly established colonies rather than by inducing a deliberate plant selection by aphid partners based on the proximity of ant colonies. PMID:24659520

  16. An emerging role for Cullin-3 mediated ubiquitination in sleep and circadian rhythm

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Amanda A.H.; Mandilaras, Konstantinos; Missirlis, Fanis; Sanyal, Subhabrata

    2013-01-01

    Although the neurophysiological correlates of sleep have been thoroughly described, genetic mechanisms that control sleep architecture, long surmised from ethological studies, family histories and clinical observations, have only been investigated during the past decade. Key contributions to the molecular understanding of sleep have come from studies in Drosophila, benefitting from a strong history of circadian rhythm research. For instance, a number of recent papers have highlighted the role of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cullin-3 in the regulation of circadian rhythm and sleep. We propose that different Cullin-3 substrate adaptors may affect specific molecular pathways and diverse aspects of circadian rhythm and sleep. We have previously shown that mutations in BTBD9, a risk factor for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) encoding a Cullin-3 substrate adaptor, lead to reduced dopamine, increased locomotion and sleep fragmentation. Here, we propose that Cullin-3 acts together with BTBD9 to limit the accumulation of iron regulatory proteins in conditions of iron deficiency. Our model is consistent with clinical observations implicating iron homeostasis in the pathophysiology of RLS and predicts that lack of BTBD9 leads to misregulation of cellular iron storage, inactivating the critical biosynthetic enzyme Tyrosine Hydroxylase in dopaminergic neurons, with consequent phenotypic effects on sleep. PMID:23455037

  17. [Possible evolutionary mechanisms of 'culture' in animals: The hypothesis of distributed social learning].

    PubMed

    Reznikova, Zh I; Panteleeva, S N

    2015-01-01

    There is a plethora of works on the origin and genesis of behavioral traditions in different animal species. Nevertheless, it still remains unclear as for which factors facilitate and which factors hinder the spreading those forms of behavior that are new for a population. Here, we present an analytical review on the topic, considering also the results of studies on 'culture' in animals and analyzing contradictions that arise when attempting to clarify the ethological mechanisms of cultural succession. The hypothesis of 'distributed social learning' is formulated, meaning that for spreading of complex behavioral stereotypes in a population the presence of few carriers of consistent stereotypes is enough under the condition that the rest of animals carry incomplete genetic programmes that start up these stereotypes. Existence of 'dormant' fragments of such programmes determines an inborn predisposition of their bearer to perform a certain sequence of acts. To complete the consistent stereotype, the simplest forms of social learning ('social alleviation') turn to be enough. The hypothesis is examined at the behavioral level and supported by experimental data obtained when studying the scenarios of hunting behavior development in ants Myrmica rubra L. It makes possible to explain the spreading of behavioral models in animal communities in a simpler way than cultural succession. PMID:26353397

  18. Initial moments of adaptation to microgravity of human orientation behavior, in parabolic flight conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tafforin, Carole

    1996-06-01

    The first ethological studies of astronauts' adaptation to microgravity dealt with the behavioral strategies observed during short-term space missions. No attempts had however been made to consider the initial moments of adaptation dynamics, when the subject is first submitted to conditions allowing body orientations in the full three dimensions of space. The present experimental approach was both longitudinal and transversal. It consisted of analysing, during a goal-directed orientation task in parabolic flight, the orientation behavior of 12 subjects with a past experience of 0, 30 or more than 300 parabolas. During each microgravity phase, the subjects were asked to orientate their bodies and touch, with the dominant hand, four coloured targets arranged inside the aircraft. Results showed that for inexperienced subjects, the time between two target contacts was longer than experienced subjects. They often failed to reach all targets in the series during the first parabolas. They showed right-left confusion and a preference for the "up-down" vertical body orientation. Their performance, described by the efficiency of orientation in all three dimensions, improved over time and according to the level of experience. The results are discussed for the spontaneous, preliminary and integrative stages of adaptation, emphasizing new relationships between the body references and those of the surroundings. Such experiences lead the subject to develop a new mental representation of space.

  19. Olfaction and olfactory-mediated behaviour in psychiatric disease models.

    PubMed

    Huckins, Laura M; Logan, Darren W; Sánchez-Andrade, Gabriela

    2013-10-01

    Rats and mice are the most widely used species for modelling psychiatric disease. Assessment of these rodent models typically involves the analysis of aberrant behaviour with behavioural interactions often being manipulated to generate the model. Rodents rely heavily on their excellent sense of smell and almost all their social interactions have a strong olfactory component. Therefore, experimental paradigms that exploit these olfactory-mediated behaviours are among the most robust available and are highly prevalent in psychiatric disease research. These include tests of aggression and maternal instinct, foraging, olfactory memory and habituation and the establishment of social hierarchies. An appreciation of the way that rodents regulate these behaviours in an ethological context can assist experimenters to generate better data from their models and to avoid common pitfalls. We describe some of the more commonly used behavioural paradigms from a rodent olfactory perspective and discuss their application in existing models of psychiatric disease. We introduce the four olfactory subsystems that integrate to mediate the behavioural responses and the types of sensory cue that promote them and discuss their control and practical implementation to improve experimental outcomes. In addition, because smell is critical for normal behaviour in rodents and yet olfactory dysfunction is often associated with neuropsychiatric disease, we introduce some tests for olfactory function that can be applied to rodent models of psychiatric disorders as part of behavioural analysis. PMID:23604803

  20. Artificial organisms as tools for the development of psychological theory: Tolman's lesson.

    PubMed

    Miglino, Orazio; Gigliotta, Onofrio; Cardaci, Maurizio; Ponticorvo, Michela

    2007-12-01

    In the 1930s and 1940s, Edward Tolman developed a psychological theory of spatial orientation in rats and humans. He expressed his theory as an automaton (the "schematic sowbug") or what today we would call an "artificial organism." With the technology of the day, he could not implement his model. Nonetheless, he used it to develop empirical predictions which tested with animals in the laboratory. This way of proceeding was in line with scientific practice dating back to Galileo. The way psychologists use artificial organisms in their work today breaks with this tradition. Modern "artificial organisms" are constructed a posteriori, working from experimental or ethological observations. As a result, researchers can use them to confirm a theoretical model or to simulate its operation. But they make no contribution to the actual building of models. In this paper, we try to return to Tolman's original strategy: implementing his theory of "vicarious trial and error" in a simulated robot, forecasting the robot's behavior and conducting experiments that verify or falsify these predictions. PMID:17665237

  1. Domesticating nature? Surveillance and conservation of migratory shorebirds in the "Atlantic Flyway".

    PubMed

    Whitney, Kristoffer

    2014-03-01

    Using a recent environmental controversy on the U.S. east coast over the conservation of red knots (Calidris canutus rufa) as a lens, I present a history of North American efforts to understand and conserve migratory shorebirds. Focusing on a few signal pieces of American legislation and their associated bureaucracies, I show the ways in which migratory wildlife have been thoroughly enrolled in efforts to quantify and protect their populations. Interactions between wildlife biologists and endangered species have been described by some scholars as "domestication"-a level of surveillance and intervention into nonhuman nature that constitutes a form of dependence. I pause to reflect on this historical trajectory, pointing out the breaks and continuities with older forms of natural history. Using the oft-mobilized Foucauldian metaphor of the panopticon as a foil, I question the utility and ethics of too-easily declaring "domesticated" wildlife an act of "biopower." Instead, I argue that Jacob von Uexküll's "umwelt" from early ecology and ethology, and more contemporary Science and Technology Studies (STS) analyses emphasizing multiple ontologies, offer more illuminating accounts of endangered species science. Neither science, conservation, nor history are well-served by the conflation of wildlife "surveillance" with the language of Foucauldian discipline. PMID:24268929

  2. Visuomotor Transformations Underlying Hunting Behavior in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Bianco, Isaac H.; Engert, Florian

    2015-01-01

    Summary Visuomotor circuits filter visual information and determine whether or not to engage downstream motor modules to produce behavioral outputs. However, the circuit mechanisms that mediate and link perception of salient stimuli to execution of an adaptive response are poorly understood. We combined a virtual hunting assay for tethered larval zebrafish with two-photon functional calcium imaging to simultaneously monitor neuronal activity in the optic tectum during naturalistic behavior. Hunting responses showed mixed selectivity for combinations of visual features, specifically stimulus size, speed, and contrast polarity. We identified a subset of tectal neurons with similar highly selective tuning, which show non-linear mixed selectivity for visual features and are likely to mediate the perceptual recognition of prey. By comparing neural dynamics in the optic tectum during response versus non-response trials, we discovered premotor population activity that specifically preceded initiation of hunting behavior and exhibited anatomical localization that correlated with motor variables. In summary, the optic tectum contains non-linear mixed selectivity neurons that are likely to mediate reliable detection of ethologically relevant sensory stimuli. Recruitment of small tectal assemblies appears to link perception to action by providing the premotor commands that release hunting responses. These findings allow us to propose a model circuit for the visuomotor transformations underlying a natural behavior. PMID:25754638

  3. Anxiety, defence and the elevated plus-maze.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, R J; Dalvi, A

    1997-11-01

    The elevated plus-maze test has been in use as a rodent model of anxiety for a decade, and is representative of those tests that are based upon the study of spontaneous behaviour patterns and which have high ecological validity. The origins of the test in studies of the relationship between exploration and fear are reviewed, and attention is drawn to the distinct possibility that variation in the pharmacosensitivity of the procedure may be attributable to often extreme methodological variation between laboratories. In considering further this issue, attention is also drawn to the need to collect data under constant test conditions and to provide the minimum database necessary to reach conclusions regarding the behavioural specificity of drug action. Recent research, which has extended the conventional plus-maze scoring technique to include specific behavioural acts and postures (in particular, those relating to defensive behaviour), is described. The value of such an ethological approach to the plus-maze is then exemplified with original data that demonstrate behaviourally selective, anti-anxiety effects of the GABAA receptor agonist, muscimol (0.125-1.0 mg/kg). It is concluded that, when used appropriately, the elevated plus-maze test can be a very valuable tool in drug screening and in the study of the neurobiology of anxiety and defence. More attention to behaviour and somewhat less emphasis on test simplicity and convenience would seem to be warranted. PMID:9415905

  4. Anxiety-related behavioral inhibition in rats: a model to examine mechanisms underlying the risk to develop stress-related psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Qi, C; Roseboom, P H; Nanda, S A; Lane, J C; Speers, J M; Kalin, N H

    2010-11-01

    Behavioral inhibition (BI) is an adaptive defensive response to threat; however, children who display extreme BI as a stable trait are at risk for development of anxiety disorders and depression. The present study validates a rodent model of BI based on an ethologically relevant predator exposure paradigm. We show that individual differences in rat BI are stable and trait-like from adolescence into adulthood. Using in situ hybridization to quantify expression of the immediate early genes homer1a and fos as measures of neuronal activation, we show that individual differences in BI are correlated with the activation of various stress-responsive brain regions that include the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and CA3 region of the hippocampus. Further supporting the concept that threat-induced BI in rodents reflects levels of anxiety, we also show that BI is decreased by administration of the anxiolytic, diazepam. Finally, we developed criteria for identifying extreme BI animals that are stable in their expression of high levels of BI and also show that high BI (HBI) individuals exhibit maladaptive appetitive responses following stress exposure. These findings support the use of predator threat as a stimulus and HBI rats as a model to study mechanisms underlying extreme and stable BI in humans. PMID:20738409

  5. Ethanol-induced enhancement of defensive behavior in different models of murine aggression.

    PubMed

    Berry, M S

    1993-09-01

    The effects of alcohol on agonistic behavior in mice were studied by introducing an intruder mouse to a resident, alcohol-treated test animal (or saline-injected control). Alcohol (0.1-2.0 g/kg, IP) was administered 20 minutes before testing, and an ethological analysis was made of all behavioral elements shown by the treated animal during a 500-second period. Alcohol did not increase aggression, whether baselines were high, low or experimentally suppressed. Defensive activities, however, were dose-dependently increased, with a threshold dose of 0.5 g/kg or lower in some situations. This suggests that alcohol did not reduce "anxiety" or "fear." Aggression tended to decrease, even with doses as low as 0.5 g/kg, which produced BACs of only 25-40 mg/dl at the start of the testing period. With the highest dose, however, aspects of timidity were still increased after 3 hours, but aggression returned to control level after 1 hour, when the BAC was about 250 mg/dl. In other studies, increased aggression has generally been found only with low alcohol doses. This acute tolerance to the anti-aggressive effect of alcohol reported here suggests the possibility of finding pro-aggressive effects at much higher BACs, perhaps more closely simulating the human situation. PMID:8410957

  6. Behavioral responses of 129/Sv, C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice to a non-predator aversive olfactory stimulus.

    PubMed

    Capone, Francesca; Venerosi, Aldina; Puopolo, Maria; Alleva, Enrico; Cirulli, Francesca

    2005-01-01

    We examined the behavior of three inbred mouse strains (129/SvPasIco, C57BL/6J, and DBA/2J) exposed to an object soaked with the chemical component of the aversive scent (toluquinone odor) emitted by a myriapod species (Ommatoiulus sabulosus) in the presence of a predator. Subjects were exposed to the odor for three consecutive days. Behavioral responses to the toluquinone odor were characterized both by an approach phase of risk assessment and by a repeated series of approach-avoid episodes. Results indicate that toluquinone exposure reduced completely, and in a strain independent fashion, selected behaviors such as crouching, catching and eating object. Other responses were strain-dependent: the DBA (DBA/2J) strain displayed defensive burying at high levels, C57 (C57BL/6J) mice performed high levels of withdrawal while the 129/Sv (129/SvPasIco) strain showed also high levels of stretch attend posture. Compared to other tasks, this test is ethological, simple, cheap and is not affected by strain differences in appetitive-sensory responses, as shown by some strain-independent responses. These features make this task as a good complement to any exploration-anxiety test battery. PMID:15794029

  7. Differences in anxiety-related behavior and response to diazepam in BALB/cByJ and C57BL/6J strains of mice.

    PubMed

    Lepicard, E M; Joubert, C; Hagneau, I; Perez-Diaz, F; Chapouthier, G

    2000-12-01

    The study in an ethological perspective of inbred strains of mice offers a more accurate description of anxiety-related behavior. In this context, behavioral performances of the BALB/cByJ and C57BL/6J strains were systematically compared in the staircase test, the light/dark test and the elevated plus maze test. A rarely used variable, the latency of the first entry in the dark box, was also recorded in the light/dark test. A new statistical approach to this measure meant that specific avoidance strategies could be differentiated in the two strains. A study of the behavioral responses of the two strains given treatment with diazepam, a widely used anxiolytic compound, was also carried out. Results showed substantial differences between BALB/cByJ and C57BL/6J strains. C57BL/6J mice had high baseline activity and exploration of a new environment, suggesting a low level of anxiety. BALB/cByJ mice displayed defensive and protective behavior, with limited exploration of the new environment together with low locomotor activity. The response to diazepam was also different for each strain: C57BL/6J mice showed higher sensitivity to diazepam treatment than did BALB/cByJ mice. PMID:11166064

  8. Combining whistle acoustic parameters to discriminate Mediterranean odontocetes during passive acoustic monitoring.

    PubMed

    Azzolin, Marta; Gannier, Alexandre; Lammers, Marc O; Oswald, Julie N; Papale, Elena; Buscaino, Giuseppa; Buffa, Gaspare; Mazzola, Salvatore; Giacoma, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Acoustic observation can complement visual observation to more effectively monitor occurrence and distribution of marine mammals. For effective acoustic censuses, calibration methods must be determined by joint visual and acoustic studies. Research is still needed in the field of acoustic species identification, particularly for smaller odontocetes. From 1994 to 2012, whistles of four odontocete species were recorded in different areas of the Mediterranean Sea to determine how reliably these vocalizations can be classified to species. Recordings were attributed to species by simultaneous visual observation. The results of this study highlight that the frequency parameters, which are linked to physical features of animals, show lower variability than modulation parameters, which are likely to be more dependent on complex eco-ethological contexts. For all the studied species, minimum and maximum frequencies were linearly correlated with body size. DFA and Classification Tree Analysis (CART) show that these parameters were the most important for classifying species; however, both statistical methods highlighted the need for combining them with the number of contour minima and contour maxima for correct classification. Generally, DFA and CART results reflected both phylogenetic distance (especially for common and striped dolphins) and the size of the species. PMID:24437790

  9. [Consolidation of international guidelines for the management of canine populations in urban areas and proposal of performance indicators].

    PubMed

    Garcia, Rita de Cassia Maria; Calderón, Néstor; Ferreira, Fernando

    2012-08-01

    The objective of this study is to propose a generic program for the management of urban canine populations with suggestion of performance indicators. The following international guidelines on canine population management were revised and consolidated: World Health Organization, World Organisation for Animal Health, World Society for the Protection of Animals, International Companion Animal Management Coalition, and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Management programs should cover: situation diagnosis, including estimates of population size; social participation with involvement of various sectors in the planning and execution of strategies; educational actions to promote humane values, animal welfare, community health, and responsible ownership (through purchase or adoption); environmental and waste management to eliminate sources of food and shelter; registration and identification of animals; animal health care, reproductive control; prevention and control of zoonoses; control of animal commerce; management of animal behavior and adequate solutions for abandoned animals; and laws regulating responsible ownership, prevention of abandonment and zoonoses. To monitor these actions, four groups of indicators are suggested: animal population indicators, human/animal interaction indicators, public service indicators, and zoonosis indicators. The management of stray canine populations requires political, sanitary, ethologic, ecologic, and humanitarian strategies that are socially acceptable and environmentally sustainable. Such measures must also include the control of zoonoses such as rabies and leishmaniasis, considering the concept of "one health," which benefits both the animals and people in the community. PMID:23099875

  10. Hormonal and neurochemical correlates of various forms of animal "aggression".

    PubMed

    Brain, P F; Haug, M

    1992-11-01

    The majority of studies attempting to evaluate the roles of hormones and neurochemicals in "aggression" concern laboratory rodents, notably rats and mice, with fewer investigations on infrahuman primates. Studies suggest that situations used to assess aggression (e.g., social conflict tests, parental attack, predatory behavior, use of unavoidable electroshock) actually tap a diverse range of motivations whose functions include offense, defense and predation. It is also apparent that ethoexperimental techniques, i.e., those applying ethological methodologies and concepts to laboratory situations, have advantages in assessing the direct and indirect consequences of chemical treatments. In this review, the impacts of hormonal manipulation (by surgery and/or application) and varying neurotransmitters (studied in terms of regional changes and as consequences of drug treatments) on a variety of forms of behavior are assessed. Different tests do show varying responses to common treatments, confirming the heterogeneity of the available paradigms. A brief discussion is provided of which tests are likely to prove most relevant to clinical studies. PMID:1363136

  11. Model-Independent Phenotyping of C. elegans Locomotion Using Scale-Invariant Feature Transform

    PubMed Central

    Koren, Yelena; Sznitman, Raphael; Arratia, Paulo E.; Carls, Christopher; Krajacic, Predrag; Brown, André E. X.; Sznitman, Josué

    2015-01-01

    To uncover the genetic basis of behavioral traits in the model organism C. elegans, a common strategy is to study locomotion defects in mutants. Despite efforts to introduce (semi-)automated phenotyping strategies, current methods overwhelmingly depend on worm-specific features that must be hand-crafted and as such are not generalizable for phenotyping motility in other animal models. Hence, there is an ongoing need for robust algorithms that can automatically analyze and classify motility phenotypes quantitatively. To this end, we have developed a fully-automated approach to characterize C. elegans’ phenotypes that does not require the definition of nematode-specific features. Rather, we make use of the popular computer vision Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) from which we construct histograms of commonly-observed SIFT features to represent nematode motility. We first evaluated our method on a synthetic dataset simulating a range of nematode crawling gaits. Next, we evaluated our algorithm on two distinct datasets of crawling C. elegans with mutants affecting neuromuscular structure and function. Not only is our algorithm able to detect differences between strains, results capture similarities in locomotory phenotypes that lead to clustering that is consistent with expectations based on genetic relationships. Our proposed approach generalizes directly and should be applicable to other animal models. Such applicability holds promise for computational ethology as more groups collect high-resolution image data of animal behavior. PMID:25816290

  12. TMT predator odor activated neural circuit in C57BL/6J mice indicates TMT-stress as a suitable model for uncontrollable intense stress.

    PubMed

    Janitzky, K; D'Hanis, W; Kröber, A; Schwegler, H

    2015-03-01

    Intense stressful events can result in chronic disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In vulnerable individuals, a single aversive experience can be sufficient to cause long-lasting behavioral changes. Candidate brain regions implicated in stress-related psychopathology are the amygdala, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. In rodents exposure to 2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethylthiazoline (TMT), an ethologically relevant stressor, has been shown to induce intense stress and innate anxiety responses. To study dispositions for the development of maladaptive stress responses, mice models are required. Therefore C57BL/6J mice were exposed to TMT and Fos expression was studied in key brain regions implicated in stress responses and anxiety-like behavior. Our results show TMT-induced activation of a distinct neural circuit involving the BNST, the lateral septum (LS), the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), the periaqueductal gray (PAG) and the locus coeruleus (LC). Anatomical interconnection of the BNST with all these regions could point to an important modulatory role of this nucleus. Since, the BNST gets direct input from the olfactory bulbs and projects to the PVN and PAG and is therefore well positioned to modulate behavioral and endocrine stress responses to TMT. Hence, we suggest that TMT exposure is suitable to investigate uncontrollable stress responses in mice which exhibit similarities to maladaptive stress responses underlying PTSD in humans. PMID:25532494

  13. Assessing Anxiety in Nonhuman Primates

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, Kristine; Pierre, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Anxiety can be broadly described as a psychological state in which normally innocuous environmental stimuli trigger negative emotional expectations. Human anxiety disorders are multidimensional and may be organic or acquired, situational or pervasive. The broad ranging nature of the anxiety phenotype speaks to the need for models that identify its various components and root causes to develop effective clinical treatments. The cross-species comparative approach to modeling anxiety disorders in animals aims to understand mechanisms that both contribute to and modulate anxiety. Nonhuman primate models provide an important bridge from nonprimate model systems because of the complexity of nonhuman primates’ biobehavioral capacities and their commonalities with human emotion. The broad goal of this review is to provide an overview of various procedures available to study anxiety in the nonhuman primate, with a focus on the behavioral aspects of anxiety. Commonly used methods covered in this review include assessing animals in their home environment or in response to an ethologically relevant threat, associative conditioning and startle response tests, and cognitive bias tests. We also discuss how these procedures can help veterinarians and researchers care for captive nonhuman primates. PMID:25225310

  14. On a quantum mechanical system theory of the origin of life: from the Stapp-model to the origin of natural symbols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balázs, András

    2016-01-01

    The Heisenberg-James-Stapp (quantum mechanical) mind model is surveyed and criticized briefly. The criticism points out that the model, while being essentially consistent concerning (human) consciousness, fundamentally lacks the evolutional point of view both onto- and phylogenetically. Ethology and other than Jamesian psychology is quoted and a quantum mechanical theoretical scheme is suggested to essentially extend Stapp's frame in an evolutionary context. It is proposed that its central supposition, spontaneous quantum measurement can be better utilized in an investigation of the origin of the "subjective" process, having come about concomitantly with the chemistry of the origin of life. We dwell on its applicability at this latter process, at its heart standing, it is supposed, the endophysical nonlinear "self-measurement" of (quantum mechanically describable) matter, and so our investigation is extended to this primeval phenomenon. It is suggested that the life phenomenon is an indirect C* → (W*) → C* quantum algebraic process transition, where the (W*) system would represent the living state. Summarized also are our previous results on an internalized, "reversed", time process, introduced originally by Gunji, which is subordinated to the external "forwards" time evolution, driving towards symmetry by gradual space-mappings, where the original splitting-up must have come about in a spontaneous symmetry breaking nonlinear "self-measurement" of matter in an endophysical World.

  15. Validation of Individual-Based Markov-Like Stochastic Process Model of Insect Behavior and a "Virtual Farm" Concept for Enhancement of Site-Specific IPM.

    PubMed

    Lux, Slawomir A; Wnuk, Andrzej; Vogt, Heidrun; Belien, Tim; Spornberger, Andreas; Studnicki, Marcin

    2016-01-01

    The paper reports application of a Markov-like stochastic process agent-based model and a "virtual farm" concept for enhancement of site-specific Integrated Pest Management. Conceptually, the model represents a "bottom-up ethological" approach and emulates behavior of the "primary IPM actors"-large cohorts of individual insects-within seasonally changing mosaics of spatiotemporally complex faming landscape, under the challenge of the local IPM actions. Algorithms of the proprietary PESTonFARM model were adjusted to reflect behavior and ecology of R. cerasi. Model parametrization was based on compiled published information about R. cerasi and the results of auxiliary on-farm experiments. The experiments were conducted on sweet cherry farms located in Austria, Germany, and Belgium. For each farm, a customized model-module was prepared, reflecting its spatiotemporal features. Historical data about pest monitoring, IPM treatments and fruit infestation were used to specify the model assumptions and calibrate it further. Finally, for each of the farms, virtual IPM experiments were simulated and the model-generated results were compared with the results of the real experiments conducted on the same farms. Implications of the findings for broader applicability of the model and the "virtual farm" approach-were discussed. PMID:27602000

  16. Recovering data from historical collections: stratigraphic and spatial reconstruction of the outstanding carnivoran record from the Late Pleistocene Equi cave (Apuane Alps, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghezzo, Elena; Palchetti, Alessandro; Rook, Lorenzo

    2014-07-01

    Equi Terme is a hamlet located in northern Tuscany, in Apuan Alps regional Park. An outstanding fossil vertebrate collection housed in Florence is the result of excavations in the Equi cave and shelter during the period 1911-1919. This faunal assemblage (associated with Mousterian artefacts) may be correlated with the middle of MIS 3. All of the specimens recovered at Equi early in the last century were collected with attention to their stratigraphical positions. Detailed field annotation for nearly every specimen allowed us to organize them and attempt a stratigraphical and spatial reconstruction of the fossiliferous deposits. We present the results of the study of the spatial and stratigraphic distribution of the carnivoran species in the Equi cave and shelter, and re-evaluate the taphonomic agents of accumulation and the fossil distribution within the stratigraphic record. In particular, we evaluated the distribution of Panthera pardus, which, unusually for Europe, is abundant in the Equi cave assemblage. This analysis highlights the importance of the re-evaluation of historical collections and allows for future comparisons with data from more recent excavations at the Equi site. The analysis also provides an account of the distribution of carnivorans throughout the stratigraphic record. The constant presence and the predominance of leopards and wolves over lions and smaller carnivorans, allow for evaluations of their ethology and may be related to a short period of sediment accumulation.

  17. The Development of Animal Behavior: From Lorenz to Neural Nets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolhuis, Johan J.

    In the study of behavioral development both causal and functional approaches have been used, and they often overlap. The concept of ontogenetic adaptations suggests that each developmental phase involves unique adaptations to the environment of the developing animal. The functional concept of optimal outbreeding has led to further experimental evidence and theoretical models concerning the role of sexual imprinting in the evolutionary process of sexual selection. From a causal perspective it has been proposed that behavioral ontogeny involves the development of various kinds of perceptual, motor, and central mechanisms and the formation of connections among them. This framework has been tested for a number of complex behavior systems such as hunger and dustbathing. Imprinting is often seen as a model system for behavioral development in general. Recent advances in imprinting research have been the result of an interdisciplinary effort involving ethology, neuroscience, and experimental psychology, with a continual interplay between these approaches. The imprinting results are consistent with Lorenz' early intuitive suggestions and are also reflected in the architecture of recent neural net models.

  18. Nonlinear Dynamics, Artificial Cognition and Galactic Export

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rössler, Otto E.

    2004-08-01

    The field of nonlinear dynamics focuses on function rather than structure. Evolution and brain function are examples. An equation for a brain, described in 1973, is explained. Then, a principle of interactional function change between two coupled equations of this type is described. However, all of this is not done in an abstract manner but in close contact with the meaning of these equations in a biological context. Ethological motivation theory and Batesonian interaction theory are reencountered. So is a fairly unknown finding by van Hooff on the indistinguishability of smile and laughter in a single primate species. Personhood and evil, two human characteristics, are described abstractly. Therapies and the question of whether it is ethically allowed to export benevolence are discussed. The whole dynamic approach is couched in terms of the Cartesian narrative, invented in the 17th century and later called Enlightenment. Whether or not it is true that a "second Enlightenment" is around the corner is the main question raised in the present paper.

  19. The Effect of Different Working Definitions on Behavioral Research Involving Stereotypies in Mongolian Gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus)

    PubMed Central

    Moons, Christel PH; Breugelmans, Sofie; Cassiman, Nele; Kalmar, Isabelle D; Peremans, Kathelijne; Hermans, Katleen; Ödberg, Frank O

    2012-01-01

    Many sources of variation in animal experiments are related to characteristics of the animal or its husbandry conditions. In ethologic studies, observational methods can also affect interexperimental variation. Different descriptions for a behavior can lead to divergent findings that may be incorrectly attributed to other factors if not recognized as stemming from a classification dissonance. Here we discuss 2 observational studies in Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus). The first study describes how data vary when 2 different working definitions are used for stereotypic digging: WDmor, a definition based on a morphologic description of the behavior, and WD12, a definition that relies mainly on a duration criterion of digging bouts (greater than 12 s). The total duration and number of stereotypic bouts were 22.0% and 63.1% lower, respectively, when WD12 was applied compared with WDmor. However, strong correlations existed between data generated by WDmor and WD12, indicating that the 2 definitions yielded qualitatively similar results. The second study provides the first report that laboratory gerbils develop stereotypic behavior that is characterized by alternating bouts of digging and bar-gnawing. Of the 1685 stereotypy bouts investigated, 9.1% comprised both stereotypies, 87.6% consisted of digging only, and 3.3% consisted of bar gnawing only. Working definitions that neglect combined stereotypies can result in considerable underestimation of stereotypic behavior in Mongolian gerbils. PMID:22776116

  20. Sternal Gland Scent-Marking Signals Sex, Age, Rank, and Group Identity in Captive Mandrills.

    PubMed

    Vaglio, Stefano; Minicozzi, Pamela; Romoli, Riccardo; Boscaro, Francesca; Pieraccini, Giuseppe; Moneti, Gloriano; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo

    2016-02-01

    Mandrills are one of the few Old World primates to show scent-marking. We combined ethological and chemical approaches to improve our understanding of this behavior in 3 zoo-managed groups. We observed the olfactory behavior performed by adults and adolescents (N = 39) for 775h. We investigated the volatile components of sternal scent-marks using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and compared volatile profiles with traits of the signaler. Males marked more than females and within each sex the frequency of scent-marking was related to age and dominance status, but alpha males scent-marked most frequently and particularly in specific areas at the enclosure boundaries. We identified a total of 77 volatile components of sternal gland secretion, including compounds functioning as male sex pheromones in other mammals, in scent-marks spontaneously released on filter paper by 27 male and 18 female mandrills. We confirmed our previous findings that chemical profiles contain information including sex, male age and rank, and we also found that odor may encode information about group membership in mandrills. Our results support the hypotheses that scent-marking signals the status of the dominant male as well as playing territorial functions but also suggest that it is part of sociosexual communication. PMID:26708734

  1. Optogenetic feedback control of neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Jonathan P; Fong, Ming-fai; Millard, Daniel C; Whitmire, Clarissa J; Stanley, Garrett B; Potter, Steve M

    2015-01-01

    Optogenetic techniques enable precise excitation and inhibition of firing in specified neuronal populations and artifact-free recording of firing activity. Several studies have suggested that optical stimulation provides the precision and dynamic range requisite for closed-loop neuronal control, but no approach yet permits feedback control of neuronal firing. Here we present the ‘optoclamp’, a feedback control technology that provides continuous, real-time adjustments of bidirectional optical stimulation in order to lock spiking activity at specified targets over timescales ranging from seconds to days. We demonstrate how this system can be used to decouple neuronal firing levels from ongoing changes in network excitability due to multi-hour periods of glutamatergic or GABAergic neurotransmission blockade in vitro as well as impinging vibrissal sensory drive in vivo. This technology enables continuous, precise optical control of firing in neuronal populations in order to disentangle causally related variables of circuit activation in a physiologically and ethologically relevant manner. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07192.001 PMID:26140329

  2. Archeological insights into hominin cognitive evolution.

    PubMed

    Wynn, Thomas; Coolidge, Frederick L

    2016-07-01

    How did the human mind evolve? How and when did we come to think in the ways we do? The last thirty years have seen an explosion in research related to the brain and cognition. This research has encompassed a range of biological and social sciences, from epigenetics and cognitive neuroscience to social and developmental psychology. Following naturally on this efflorescence has been a heightened interest in the evolution of the brain and cognition. Evolutionary scholars, including paleoanthropologists, have deployed the standard array of evolutionary methods. Ethological and experimental evidence has added significantly to our understanding of nonhuman brains and cognition, especially those of nonhuman primates. Studies of fossil brains through endocasts and sophisticated imaging techniques have revealed evolutionary changes in gross neural anatomy. Psychologists have also gotten into the game through application of reverse engineering to experimentally based descriptions of cognitive functions. For hominin evolution, there is another rich source of evidence of cognition, the archeological record. Using the methods of Paleolithic archeology and the theories and models of cognitive science, evolutionary cognitive archeology documents developments in the hominin mind that would otherwise be inaccessible. PMID:27519459

  3. Visual Cue-Discriminative Dopaminergic Control of Visuomotor Transformation and Behavior Selection.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yuanyuan; Li, Xiaoquan; Zhang, Baibing; Yin, Chen; Liu, Yafeng; Chen, Weiyu; Zeng, Shaoqun; Du, Jiulin

    2016-02-01

    Animals behave differently in response to visual cues with distinct ethological meaning, a process usually thought to be achieved through differential visual processing. Using a defined zebrafish escape circuit as a model, we found that behavior selection can be implemented at the visuomotor transformation stage through a visually responsive dopaminergic-inhibitory circuit module. In response to non-threatening visual stimuli, hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons and their positively regulated hindbrain inhibitory interneurons increase activity, suppressing synaptic transmission from the visual center to the escape circuit. By contrast, threatening visual stimuli inactivate some of these neurons, resulting in dis-inhibition of the visuomotor transformation and escape generation. The distinct patterns of dopaminergic-inhibitory neural module's visual responses account for this stimulus-specific visuomotor transformation and behavioral control. Thus, our study identifies a behavioral relevance-dependent mechanism that controls visuomotor transformation and behavior selection and reveals that neuromodulation can be tuned by visual cues to help animals generate appropriate responses. PMID:26804989

  4. Tunneling trilobites: Habitual infaunalism in an Ordovician carbonate seafloor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherns, Lesley; Wheeley, James R.; Karis, Lars

    2006-08-01

    Asaphus trilobites preserved in tunnel systems of the trace fossil Thalassinoides from the mid-Ordovician (ca. 465 Ma) Holen Limestone, Sweden, are interpreted as the trace makers, enabled by shallow carbonate firm grounds to construct open tunnel networks and develop habitual infaunal behavior. Their in situ preservation confirms an infaunal ethology inferred for some trilobite taxa from functional morphology. We suggest that predation pressure from large omnivorous nautiloid cephalopods (“Orthoceras” Limestone facies) may have triggered ecologic opportunism. In trilobites well adapted for predatory-scavenging behavior as well as excavation, the tunnel networks functioned primarily for protection, possibly assisting in feeding, breathing, and breeding strategies. Previously, “trilobite burrows” have referred to seafloor traces of locomotion, feeding, and resting (Cruziana, Rusophycus). Infaunal, tunneling trilobites provide new evidence of mid-Ordovician partitioning of the skeletal benthos, adding to an ecologic and trophic tier hitherto interpreted as occupied by soft-bodied organisms. Such trilobites also provide an identity for Thalassinoides tracemakers prior to Devonian evolution of decapod crustaceans.

  5. Interspecies comparison of marine reservoir ages at the Kitakogane shell midden, Hokkaido, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoneda, Minoru; Shibata, Yasuyuki; Morita, Masatoshi; Hirota, Masashi; Suzuki, Ryo; Uzawa, Kazuhiro; Ohshima, Naoyuki; Dodo, Yukio

    2004-08-01

    Apparent 14C ages of human and faunal remains from the Kitakogane shell midden assigned to the Early Jomon period were measured to estimate the reservoir effect on different species. In previous studies, northern fur seal and Japanese deer had showed significant age differences of 860 14C yr, in concordance with the large reservoir ages observed in pre-bomb shells from the western North Pacific. However, the present study suggests that other sedentary marine organisms, including porpoise, Japanese sea lion and scallop, show a smaller reservoir age-offset at 720 14C yr at the same site. The ethology of northern fur seal was probably responsible for this discrepancy because of a larger reservoir age in the Sea of Okhotsk into which they migrated. This suggests the reservoir effect on humans was more complicated than a simple linear mixing between marine and terrestrial reservoirs in the case of the NW Pacific coast. It was suggested that an interspecies comparison of 14C age-offsets could produce more precise estimation of the marine reservoir effect in the past.

  6. Male mice song syntax depends on social contexts and influences female preferences

    PubMed Central

    Chabout, Jonathan; Sarkar, Abhra; Dunson, David B.; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2015-01-01

    In 2005, Holy and Guo advanced the idea that male mice produce ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) with some features similar to courtship songs of songbirds. Since then, studies showed that male mice emit USV songs in different contexts (sexual and other) and possess a multisyllabic repertoire. Debate still exists for and against plasticity in their vocalizations. But the use of a multisyllabic repertoire can increase potential flexibility and information, in how elements are organized and recombined, namely syntax. In many bird species, modulating song syntax has ethological relevance for sexual behavior and mate preferences. In this study we exposed adult male mice to different social contexts and developed a new approach of analyzing their USVs based on songbird syntax analysis. We found that male mice modify their syntax, including specific sequences, length of sequence, repertoire composition, and spectral features, according to stimulus and social context. Males emit longer and simpler syllables and sequences when singing to females, but more complex syllables and sequences in response to fresh female urine. Playback experiments show that the females prefer the complex songs over the simpler ones. We propose the complex songs are to lure females in, whereas the directed simpler sequences are used for direct courtship. These results suggest that although mice have a much more limited ability of song modification, they could still be used as animal models for understanding some vocal communication features that songbirds are used for. PMID:25883559

  7. The Receding Animal: Theorizing Anxiety and Attachment in Psychoanalysis from Freud to Imre Hermann.

    PubMed

    Marinelli, Lydia; Mayer, Andreas

    2016-03-01

    Argument Animals played an important role in the formation of psychoanalysis as a theoretical and therapeutic enterprise. They are at the core of texts such as Freud's famous case histories of Little Hans, the Rat Man, or the Wolf Man. The infantile anxiety triggered by animals provided the essential link between the psychology of individual neuroses and the ambivalent status of the "totem" animal in so-called primitive societies in Freud's attempt to construct an anthropological basis for the Oedipus complex in Totem and Taboo. In the following, we attempt to track the status of animals as objects of indirect observation as they appear in Freud's classical texts, and in later revisionist accounts such as Otto Rank's Trauma of Birth and Imre Hermann's work on the clinging instinct. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Freudian conception of patients' animal phobias is substantially revised within Hermann's original psychoanalytic theory of instincts which draws heavily upon ethological observations of primates. Although such a reformulation remains grounded in the idea of "archaic" animal models for human development, it allows to a certain extent to empiricize the speculative elements of Freud's later instinct theory (notably the death instinct) and to come to a more embodied account of psychoanalytic practice. PMID:26903372

  8. Ablation of D1 dopamine receptor-expressing cells generates mice with seizures, dystonia, hyperactivity, and impaired oral behavior

    PubMed Central

    Gantois, Ilse; Fang, Ke; Jiang, Luning; Babovic, Daniela; Lawrence, Andrew J.; Ferreri, Vincenzo; Teper, Yaroslav; Jupp, Bianca; Ziebell, Jenna; Morganti-Kossmann, Cristina M.; O'Brien, Terence J.; Nally, Rachel; Schütz, Günter; Waddington, John; Egan, Gary F.; Drago, John

    2007-01-01

    Huntington's disease is characterized by death of striatal projection neurons. We used a Cre/Lox transgenic approach to generate an animal model in which D1 dopamine receptor (Drd1a)+ cells are progressively ablated in the postnatal brain. Striatal Drd1a, substance P, and dynorphin expression is progressively lost, whereas D2 dopamine receptor (Drd2) and enkephalin expression is up-regulated. Magnetic resonance spectroscopic analysis demonstrated early elevation of the striatal choline/creatine ratio, a finding associated with extensive reactive striatal astrogliosis. Sequential MRI demonstrated a progressive reduction in striatal volume and secondary ventricular enlargement confirmed to be due to loss of striatal cells. Mutant mice had normal gait and rotarod performance but displayed hindlimb dystonia, locomotor hyperactivity, and handling-induced electrographically verified spontaneous seizures. Ethological assessment identified an increase in rearing and impairments in the oral behaviors of sifting and chewing. In line with the limbic seizure profile, cell loss, astrogliosis, microgliosis, and down-regulated dynorphin expression were seen in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. This study specifically implicates Drd1a+ cell loss with tail suspension hindlimb dystonia, hyperactivity, and abnormal oral function. The latter may relate to the speech and swallowing disturbances and the classic sign of tongue-protrusion motor impersistence observed in Huntington's disease. In addition, the findings of this study support the notion that Drd1a and Drd2 are segregated on striatal projection neurons. PMID:17360497

  9. Ablating Adult Neurogenesis in the Rat Has No Effect on Spatial Processing: Evidence from a Novel Pharmacogenetic Model

    PubMed Central

    Groves, James O.; Leslie, Isla; Huang, Guo-Jen; McHugh, Stephen B.; Taylor, Amy; Mott, Richard; Munafò, Marcus; Bannerman, David M.; Flint, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    The function of adult neurogenesis in the rodent brain remains unclear. Ablation of adult born neurons has yielded conflicting results about emotional and cognitive impairments. One hypothesis is that adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus enables spatial pattern separation, allowing animals to distinguish between similar stimuli. We investigated whether spatial pattern separation and other putative hippocampal functions of adult neurogenesis were altered in a novel genetic model of neurogenesis ablation in the rat. In rats engineered to express thymidine kinase (TK) from a promoter of the rat glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), ganciclovir treatment reduced new neurons by 98%. GFAP-TK rats showed no significant difference from controls in spatial pattern separation on the radial maze, spatial learning in the water maze, contextual or cued fear conditioning. Meta-analysis of all published studies found no significant effects for ablation of adult neurogenesis on spatial memory, cue conditioning or ethological measures of anxiety. An effect on contextual freezing was significant at a threshold of 5% (P = 0.04), but not at a threshold corrected for multiple testing. The meta-analysis revealed remarkably high levels of heterogeneity among studies of hippocampal function. The source of this heterogeneity remains unclear and poses a challenge for studies of the function of adult neurogenesis. PMID:24039591

  10. Fecal concentrations of cortisol, testosterone, and progesterone in cotton-top tamarins housed in different zoological parks: relationships among physiological data, environmental conditions, and behavioral patterns.

    PubMed

    Fontani, Sara; Vaglio, Stefano; Beghelli, Valentina; Mattioli, Michela; Bacci, Silvia; Accorsi, Pier Attilio

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this investigation was to study the welfare of 3 captive groups of cotton-top tamarins housed in different zoological parks. Ethological observations were conducted during 1 year. In addition, fecal samples were collected and the concentrations of glucocorticoids, androgens, and progestogens were measured. Within each group, no significant differences in fecal cortisol concentrations were found between subjects. The fecal concentrations of testosterone and progesterone significantly differed depending on the sexes and ages of the tamarins. A significant association was found among hormone concentrations, exhibit dimensions, and group composition. A highly significant correlation was found between all hormones considered and the space available for each subject. Significant differences in behavioral patterns were observed among groups, including social-individual, affiliative-aggressive, and anogenital-suprapubic scent marking. Correlations between hormone measurements and behaviors were detected. In conclusion, this study confirmed the associations between some behaviors exhibited by these nonhuman primates and both cortisol and testosterone; these data also highlight the role played by progesterone in these behaviors. PMID:24836597

  11. Evoked potentials elicited by natural stimuli in the brain of unanesthetized crayfish.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Falcón, J; Serrato, J; Ramón, F

    1999-05-01

    Experiments were conducted to test some characteristics of vision by crayfish underwater and in air, and determine possible motion reactions elicited in response to naturalistic or quasi-ethological visual stimuli. Chronically implanted electrodes on the brain were used to record visually evoked potentials in response to moving bars at different speeds or to fish of different sizes. Electroretinograms were also recorded to detect when an object or a shadow appeared in the crayfish visual field. Ongoing brain activity is mild under basal conditions, but increases in RMS by approximately 6% in response to bar passage and 12 to 53% in response to fish motionless or swimming in front of the crayfish. When crayfish are free to move, fish swimming in front of them elicit intense brain activity, together with displacement toward them and an attempt to grab them. Visual evoked potentials are elicited by moving objects as small as 1 degree at a distance of 30 cm in air as well as underwater. None of the stimuli used induced evident behavioral responses under our conditions. We conclude that vision-action activities can be divided into (a) vision of irrelevant objects with short lasting electrical activity and no motion in response to it; (b) vision of mildly interesting objects with long-lasting electrical effects, but no motion in response to it; and (c) vision of relevant objects with appropriate motion reaction. PMID:10357428

  12. [Variation of the orchid bees community (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in three altered habitats of the Colombian "llano" piedmont].

    PubMed

    Parra-H, Alejandro; Nates-Parra, Guiomar

    2007-01-01

    Orchid bees subsist in vast tropical forest areas because they maintain close relationships with particular plant species in diverse micro-habitats. Based on the relationships among the environment and biological features (food preference, morphologic and ethologic diversity), it is possible to determine habitat quality using the euglossine array. This work proposes the use of this ecological information, in addition to diversity indices, for the evaluation of environmental quality. Fifteen localities in three landscape types (urban, rural and conserved) were sampled in the eastern llanos foothill (Meta, Colombia), between March and December of 2003 using entomological nets, and Cineol and Metil Salicylate as baits. Of the 26 species known to occur in the area, 17 were registered. Eulaema nigrita was the most frequent, while E. speciosa E. bombiformis, Euglossa magnipes, E. cybelia, E. heterosticta, E. singularis and Exaerete frontalis were mostly found in habitats rated "good to acceptable". The vegetation composition and proximity of forest fragments seem to favor some species in disturbed habitats. Relative diversity of bee body shapes and sizes is proportional to habitat quality. PMID:19086396

  13. Etologia aplicada al manejo de especies amenazadas: el caso del turon de patas negras (Mustela nigripes)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vargas, A.; Biggins, D.; Miller, B.

    1999-01-01

    de esta especie de un modo más eficaz y rentable. Black-footed ferrets are considered one of the world's most endangered mammals. The last wild population was discovered in 1981 in Meteetsee, Wyoming, and, in 1985 it collapsed due to an epizootic of canine distemper in combination with sylvatic plague. Prior to the extinction of the last remnant population, 18 wild black-footed ferrets were captured to initiate captive propagation efforts. Captive breeding has been successful and, during the last 11 years, more than 2600 black-footed ferrets have been born in captive breeding centers. Since 1991, approximately 870 ferrets have been reintroduced in 5 areas located within the ferret's original geographic distribution, including sites in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and Arizona. Scientific research has been, and continues to be, a critical tool to direct recovery efforts. Studies in applied ethology conducted on captive and reintroduced ferret populations have demonstrated that a naturalistic captive environment, particularly during early developmental periods, enhances the expression of behaviors necessary for survival in nature. Ferrets raised in a naturalistic environment develop better predatory skills, are able to recognize prairie dog burrows as a home and shelter from predators, and are more physically fit. Results from these studies have been adapted into management strategies to help implement a more cost-effective road to black-footed ferret recovery.

  14. Wireless Monitoring of Changes in Crew Relations during Long-Duration Mission Simulation.

    PubMed

    Johannes, Bernd; Sitev, Alexej S; Vinokhodova, Alla G; Salnitski, Vyacheslav P; Savchenko, Eduard G; Artyukhova, Anna E; Bubeev, Yuri A; Morukov, Boris V; Tafforin, Carole; Basner, Mathias; Dinges, David F; Rittweger, Jörn

    2015-01-01

    Group structure and cohesion along with their changes over time play an important role in the success of missions where crew members spend prolonged periods of time under conditions of isolation and confinement. Therefore, an objective system for unobtrusive monitoring of crew cohesion and possible individual stress reactions is of high interest. For this purpose, an experimental wireless group structure (WLGS) monitoring system integrated into a mobile psychophysiological system was developed. In the presented study the WLGS module was evaluated separately in six male subjects (27-38 years old) participating in a 520-day simulated mission to Mars. Two days per week, each crew member wore a small sensor that registered the presence and distance of the sensors either worn by the other subjects or strategically placed throughout the isolation facility. The registration between two sensors was on average 91.0% in accordance. A correspondence of 95.7% with the survey video on day 475 confirmed external reliability. An integrated score of the "crew relation time index" was calculated and analyzed over time. Correlation analyses of a sociometric questionnaire (r = .35-.55, p< .05) and an ethological group approach (r = .45-.66, p < 05) provided initial evidence of the method's validity as a measure of cohesion when taking behavioral and activity patterns into account (e.g. only including activity phases in the afternoon). This confirms our assumption that the registered amount of time spent together during free time is associated with the intensity of personal relationships. PMID:26252656

  15. The Contribution of Equitation Science to Minimising Horse-Related Risks to Humans

    PubMed Central

    Starling, Melissa; McLean, Andrew; McGreevy, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary Equitation science describes an approach to horse training and riding that focuses on embracing the cognitive abilities of horses, their natural behaviour, and how human riders can use signalling and rewards to best effect. This approach is concerned with both horse welfare and rider safety, and this review discusses how equitation science can minimise risk to humans around horses and enhance horse welfare. Abstract Equitation science is an evidence-based approach to horse training and riding that focuses on a thorough understanding of both equine ethology and learning theory. This combination leads to more effective horse training, but also plays a role in keeping horse riders and trainers safe around horses. Equitation science underpins ethical equitation, and recognises the limits of the horse’s cognitive and physical abilities. Equitation is an ancient practice that has benefited from a rich tradition that sees it flourishing in contemporary sporting pursuits. Despite its history, horse-riding is an activity for which neither horses nor humans evolved, and it brings with it significant risks to the safety of both species. This review outlines the reasons horses may behave in ways that endanger humans and how training choices can exacerbate this. It then discusses the recently introduced 10 Principles of Equitation Science and explains how following these principles can minimise horse-related risk to humans and enhance horse welfare. PMID:26907354

  16. The First Ant-Termite Syninclusion in Amber with CT-Scan Analysis of Taphonomy

    PubMed Central

    Coty, David; Aria, Cédric; Garrouste, Romain; Wils, Patricia; Legendre, Frédéric; Nel, André

    2014-01-01

    We describe here a co-occurrence (i.e. a syninclusion) of ants and termites in a piece of Mexican amber (Totolapa deposit, Chiapas), whose importance is two-fold. First, this finding suggests at least a middle Miocene antiquity for the modern, though poorly documented, relationship between Azteca ants and Nasutitermes termites. Second, the presence of a Neivamyrmex army ant documents an in situ raiding behaviour of the same age and within the same community, confirmed by the fact that the army ant is holding one of the termite worker between its mandibles and by the presence of a termite with bitten abdomen. In addition, we present how CT-scan imaging can be an efficient tool to describe the topology of resin flows within amber pieces, and to point out the different states of preservation of the embedded insects. This can help achieving a better understanding of taphonomical processes, and tests ethological and ecological hypotheses in such complex syninclusions. PMID:25140873

  17. Effect of social and environmental factors on ant aggregation: a general response?

    PubMed

    Depickère, Stéphanie; Fresneau, Dominique; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2008-09-01

    In social species, the interactions that occur between individuals and also between individuals and their environment can lead to various spatial distributions. Our goal was to understand how both factors (social and environmental) can affect such spatial distribution of individuals. Aggregation experiments were conducted on the ant Crematogaster scutellaris: the level of inter-attraction between individuals was characterized and the influence of an environmental factor (light intensity) was studied. Two ethological castes (brood-tenders and foragers) were tested, showing a strong and similar aggregation pattern-although faster for foragers. This difference could be explained by a higher degree of inter-attraction for brood-tenders, resulting in longer interaction time and therefore a slower aggregation rate. We also showed the influence of light conditions by carrying out experiments in total darkness and under red light. C. scutellaris appeared highly sensitive to the red light, aggregating just underneath it. Nevertheless, the level of aggregation is not affected by the luminosity condition. These results are discussed in relation to the ecology of the species, and are compared with results obtained in another ant species, Lasius niger, which exhibits a similar response to aggregation. We propose, therefore, a general link between the level/pattern of aggregation and polyethism in ants. PMID:18706421

  18. Salubrious effects of oxytocin on social stress-induced deficits

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Adam S.; Wang, Zuoxin

    2012-01-01

    Social relationships are a fundamental aspect of life, affecting social, psychological, physiological, and behavioral functions. While social interactions can attenuate stress and promote health, disruption, confrontations, isolation, or neglect in the social environment can each be major stressors. Social stress can impair the basal function and stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, impairing function of multiple biological systems and posing a risk to mental and physical health. In contrast, social support can ameliorate stress-induced physiological and immunological deficits, reducing the risk of subsequent psychological distress and improving an individual's overall well-being. For better clinical treatment of these physiological and mental pathologies, it is necessary to understand the regulatory mechanisms of stress-induced pathologies as well as determine the underlying biological mechanisms that regulate social buffering of the stress system. A number of ethologically relevant animal models of social stress and species that form strong adult social bonds have been utilized to study the etiology, treatment, and prevention of stress-related disorders. While undoubtedly a number of biological pathways contribute to the social buffering of the stress response, the convergence of evidence denotes the regulatory effects of oxytocin in facilitating social bond-promoting behaviors and their effect on the stress response. Thus, oxytocin may be perceived as a common regulatory element of the social environment, stress response, and stress-induced risks on mental and physical health. PMID:22178036

  19. G-autonomy of EEG recordings of psychotic patients undergoing the primitive expression form of dance therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ventouras, E.-C.; Lardi, I.; Dimitriou, S.; Margariti, A.; Chondraki, P.; Kalatzis, I.; Economou, N.-T.; Tsekou, H.; Paparrigopoulos, T.; Ktonas, P. Y.

    2015-09-01

    Primitive expression (PE) is a form of dance therapy (DT) that involves an interaction of ethologically and socially based forms which are supplied for re-enactment. Brain connectivity has been measured in electroencephalographic (EEG) data of patients with schizophrenia undergoing PE DT, using the correlation coefficient and mutual information. These parameters do not measure the existence or absence of directionality in the connectivity. The present study investigates the use of the G-autonomy measure of EEG electrode voltages of the same group of schizophrenic patients. G-autonomy is a measure of the “autonomy” of a system. It indicates the degree by which prediction of the system's future evolution is enhanced by taking into account its own past states, in comparison to predictions based on past states of a set of external variables. In the present research, “own” past states refer to voltage values in the time series recorded at a specific electrode and “external” variables refer to the voltage values recorded at other electrodes. Indication is provided for an acute effect of early-stage PE DT expressed by the augmentation of G-autonomy in the delta rhythm and an acute effect of late- stage PE DT expressed by the reduction of G-autonomy in the theta and alpha rhythms.

  20. Phylogenetic studies of dogs with emphasis on Japanese and Asian breeds

    PubMed Central

    Tanabe, Yuichi

    2006-01-01

    The first domestication of the dog occurred in East Asia, and major ancestor of the dog was a wolf subspecies, Canis lupus chanco. This finding derives from data on the nucleotide sequences of mtDNA and the frequency of genes controlling blood protein polymorphisms in various subspecies of wolves and dog breeds around the world. The results of the allele frequency distribution of genes controlling 16 blood protein polymorphisms, and the incidence of dogs possessing erythrocytes with high potassium (HK) in Japan, East Asia and Europe allowed us to posturate the following hypothesis about the origins of Japanese dogs and the history of their development. In the Jomon period the first dogs entered the Japanese archipelago from southern or northern continental Asia. These dogs eventually spread throughout Japan. Then, during the Yayoi and Kofun periods, other dogs were brought over via the Korean Peninsula, and crossbreeding occurred with the original dogs. The resulted offspring can be assumed to be the ancestors of most of the Japanese breeds that exist today. Ethological studies have revealed a significant breed difference in behavioral traits among canine breeds with Japanese dogs, showing more aggressive dispositions than most of European dogs. PMID:25792769

  1. Functional organization of inferior parietal lobule convexity in the macaque monkey: electrophysiological characterization of motor, sensory and mirror responses and their correlation with cytoarchitectonic areas.

    PubMed

    Rozzi, Stefano; Ferrari, Pier Francesco; Bonini, Luca; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Fogassi, Leonardo

    2008-10-01

    The general view on the functional role of the monkey inferior parietal lobule (IPL) convexity mainly derives from studies carried out more than two decades ago and does not account for the functional complexity suggested by more recent neuroanatomical findings. We investigated this issue by recording multi- and single units in the IPL convexity of two monkeys and characterizing their somatosensory, visual and motor responses, using a naturalistic (ethologically relevant) approach. These properties were then matched with IPL cytoarchitectonic parcellation. A further aim of this study was to describe the general properties and the localization of IPL mirror neurons, until now not investigated in detail. Results showed that each studied cytoarchitectonic subdivision of the IPL (PF, PFG, PG) is characterized by specific sensory and motor properties. A key feature of the recorded motor neurons is that of coding goal-directed motor acts. Motor responses are somatotopically organized in a rostro-caudal fashion, with mouth, hand and arm represented in PF, PFG and PG, respectively, with a certain degree of overlap between adjacent representations. In each subdivision the motor activity is associated with specific somatosensory and visual responses, suggesting that each area organizes motor acts in different space sectors. Mirror neurons have been found mainly in area PFG and their general features appear to be very similar to those of ventral premotor mirror neurons. The present data suggest that the IPL plays an important role in both action organization and action understanding and should be considered part of the motor system. PMID:18691325

  2. The failure to detect drug-induced sensory loss in standard preclinical studies.

    PubMed

    Gauvin, David V; Abernathy, Matthew M; Tapp, Rachel L; Yoder, Joshua D; Dalton, Jill A; Baird, Theodore J

    2015-01-01

    Over the years a number of drugs have been approved for human use with limited signs of toxicity noted during preclinical risk assessment study designs but then show adverse events in compliant patients taking the drugs as prescribed within the first few years on the market. Loss or impairments in sensory systems, such as hearing, vision, taste, and smell have been reported to the FDA or have been described in the literature appearing in peer-reviewed scientific journals within the first five years of widespread use. This review highlights the interactive cross-modal compensation within sensory systems that can occur that reduces the likelihood of identifying these losses in less sentient animals used in standard preclinical toxicology and safety protocols. We provide some historical and experimental evidence to substantiate these sensory effects in and highlight the critical importance of detailed training of technicians on basic ethological, species-specific behaviors of all purpose-bred laboratory animals used in these study designs. We propose that the time, effort and cost of training technicians to be better able to identify and document very subtle changes in behavior will serve to increase the likelihood of early detection of biomarkers predictive of drug-induced sensory loss within current standard regulatory preclinical research protocols. PMID:26045062

  3. Ablating adult neurogenesis in the rat has no effect on spatial processing: evidence from a novel pharmacogenetic model.

    PubMed

    Groves, James O; Leslie, Isla; Huang, Guo-Jen; McHugh, Stephen B; Taylor, Amy; Mott, Richard; Munafò, Marcus; Bannerman, David M; Flint, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    The function of adult neurogenesis in the rodent brain remains unclear. Ablation of adult born neurons has yielded conflicting results about emotional and cognitive impairments. One hypothesis is that adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus enables spatial pattern separation, allowing animals to distinguish between similar stimuli. We investigated whether spatial pattern separation and other putative hippocampal functions of adult neurogenesis were altered in a novel genetic model of neurogenesis ablation in the rat. In rats engineered to express thymidine kinase (TK) from a promoter of the rat glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), ganciclovir treatment reduced new neurons by 98%. GFAP-TK rats showed no significant difference from controls in spatial pattern separation on the radial maze, spatial learning in the water maze, contextual or cued fear conditioning. Meta-analysis of all published studies found no significant effects for ablation of adult neurogenesis on spatial memory, cue conditioning or ethological measures of anxiety. An effect on contextual freezing was significant at a threshold of 5% (P = 0.04), but not at a threshold corrected for multiple testing. The meta-analysis revealed remarkably high levels of heterogeneity among studies of hippocampal function. The source of this heterogeneity remains unclear and poses a challenge for studies of the function of adult neurogenesis. PMID:24039591

  4. Cardiac autonomic imbalance by social stress in rodents: understanding putative biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to stress or traumatic events can lead to the development of depression and anxiety disorders. In addition to the debilitating consequences on mental health, patients with psychiatric disorders also suffer from autonomic imbalance, making them susceptible to a variety of medical disorders. Emerging evidence utilizing spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV), a reliable non-invasive measure of cardiovascular autonomic regulation, indicates that patients with depression and various anxiety disorders (i.e., panic, social, generalized anxiety disorders, and post traumatic stress disorder) are characterized by decreased HRV. Social stressors in rodents are ethologically relevant experimental stressors that recapitulate many of the dysfunctional behavioral and physiological changes that occur in psychological disorders. In this review, evidence from clinical studies and preclinical stress models identify putative biomarkers capable of precipitating the comorbidity between disorders of the mind and autonomic dysfunction. Specifically, the role of corticotropin releasing factor, neuropeptide Y and inflammation are investigated. The impetus for this review is to highlight stress-related biomarkers that may prove critical in the development of autonomic imbalance in stress -related psychiatric disorders. PMID:25206349

  5. Universals and cultural variation in turn-taking in conversation

    PubMed Central

    Stivers, Tanya; Enfield, N. J.; Brown, Penelope; Englert, Christina; Hayashi, Makoto; Heinemann, Trine; Hoymann, Gertie; Rossano, Federico; de Ruiter, Jan Peter; Yoon, Kyung-Eun; Levinson, Stephen C.

    2009-01-01

    Informal verbal interaction is the core matrix for human social life. A mechanism for coordinating this basic mode of interaction is a system of turn-taking that regulates who is to speak and when. Yet relatively little is known about how this system varies across cultures. The anthropological literature reports significant cultural differences in the timing of turn-taking in ordinary conversation. We test these claims and show that in fact there are striking universals in the underlying pattern of response latency in conversation. Using a worldwide sample of 10 languages drawn from traditional indigenous communities to major world languages, we show that all of the languages tested provide clear evidence for a general avoidance of overlapping talk and a minimization of silence between conversational turns. In addition, all of the languages show the same factors explaining within-language variation in speed of response. We do, however, find differences across the languages in the average gap between turns, within a range of 250 ms from the cross-language mean. We believe that a natural sensitivity to these tempo differences leads to a subjective perception of dramatic or even fundamental differences as offered in ethnographic reports of conversational style. Our empirical evidence suggests robust human universals in this domain, where local variations are quantitative only, pointing to a single shared infrastructure for language use with likely ethological foundations. PMID:19553212

  6. Theoretical perspectives accounting for adolescent homosexuality.

    PubMed

    Savin-Williams, R C

    1988-03-01

    Few topics in sexology elicit such a diversity of opinions and emotions as the question of etiology of homosexuality. Views frequently carry with them implicit or explicit messages concerning the psychologic health of this sexual orientation. Theories of sexual development usually portray adolescence as a critical time in the life course because of changes in: 1) anatomy and physiology; 2) psychologic functioning: the reawakening, renewal, and reliving of previously established sexual relations and drives; and/or 3) social conditions: an increased exposure and adherence to societal messages concerning appropriate and inappropriate social and sexual behaviors and relationships. This paper provides a brief overview of several major theories--evolutionary biology, psychoanalysis, and social processes--as they relate to the development of sexual orientation. In addition, an ethologic perspective that synthesizes various etiologic theories, as they relate to homosexuality during adolescence, is briefly reviewed. In these discussions, the issue of whether homosexuality is a normal or abnormal developmental state during adolescence is also addressed. PMID:3283091

  7. The advent of equitation science.

    PubMed

    McGreevy, Paul D

    2007-11-01

    The lengthy association of humans with horses has established traditional equestrian techniques that have served military and transport needs well. Although effective, these techniques have by-passed the research findings of modern psychologists, who developed the fundamentals of learning theory. That said, the pools of equestrian debate are far from stagnant. The latest wave of horse whisperers has offered some refinements and some novel interpretations of the motivation of horses undergoing training. Additionally, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has introduced the concept of the 'happy equine athlete' and, in the light of the hyperflexion (Rollkür) debate, recently examined the possible effects of some novel dressage modalities on equine 'happiness'. However, many still question the welfare of the ridden horse since it is largely trained using negative reinforcement, has to respond to pressure-based signals and is seldom asked to work for positive rewards. Science holds tremendous promise for removing emotiveness from the horse-riding welfare debate by establishing how much rein tension is too much; how much contact is neutral; how contact can be measured; how discomfort can be measured; how pain can be measured; and how learned helplessness manifests in horses. These are some of the topics addressed by equitation science, an emerging discipline that combines learning theory, physics and ethology to examine the salience and efficacy of horse-training techniques. PMID:17157542

  8. A New Approach of Personality and Psychiatric Disorders: A Short Version of the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales

    PubMed Central

    Pingault, Jean-Baptiste; Falissard, Bruno; Côté, Sylvana; Berthoz, Sylvie

    2012-01-01

    Background The Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales (ANPS) is an instrument designed to assess endophenotypes related to activity in the core emotional systems that have emerged from affective neuroscience research. It operationalizes six emotional endophenotypes with empirical evidence derived from ethology, neural analyses and pharmacology: PLAYFULNESS/joy, SEEKING/interest, CARING/nurturance, ANGER/rage, FEAR/anxiety, and SADNESS/separation distress. We aimed to provide a short version of this questionnaire (ANPS-S). Methodology/Principal Findings We used a sample of 830 young French adults which was randomly split into two subsamples. The first subsample was used to select the items for the short scales. The second subsample and an additional sample of 431 Canadian adults served to evaluate the psychometric properties of the short instrument. The ANPS-S was similar to the long version regarding intercorrelations between the scales and gender differences. The ANPS-S had satisfactory psychometric properties, including factorial structure, unidimensionality of all scales, and internal consistency. The scores from the short version were highly correlated with the scores from the long version. Conclusions/Significance The short ANPS proves to be a promising instrument to assess endophenotypes for psychiatrically relevant science. PMID:22848510

  9. Mixture Analysis and Mammalian Sex Ratio Among Middle Pleistocene Mouflon of Arago Cave, France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monchot, Hervé

    1999-09-01

    In archaeological studies, it is often important to be able assess sexual dimorphism and sex ratios in populations. Obtaining sex ratio is easy if each individual in the population can be accurately sexed through the use of one more objective variables. But this is often impossible, due to incompleteness of the osteological record. A modern statistical approach to handle this problem is Mixture Analysis using the method of maximum likelihood. It consists of determining how many groups are present in the sample, two in this case, in which proportions they occur, and to estimate the parameters accordingly. This paper shows the use of this method on vertebrate fossil populations in a prehistoric context with implications on prey acquisition by early humans. For instance, the analysis of mouflon bones from Arago cave (Tautavel, France) indicates that there are more females than males in the F layer. According to the ethology of the animal, this indicates that the hunting strategy could be the result of selective choice of the prey. Moreover, we may deduce the presence of Anteneandertalians on the site during spring and summer periods.

  10. Moving beyond the welfare standard of psychological well-being for nonhuman primates: the case of chimpanzees.

    PubMed

    Gluck, John P

    2014-04-01

    Since 1985, the US Animal Welfare Act and Public Health Service policy have required that researchers using nonhuman primates in biomedical and behavioral research develop a plan "for a physical environment adequate to promote the psychological well-being of primates." In pursuing this charge, housing attributes such as social companionship, opportunities to express species-typical behavior, suitable space for expanded locomotor activity, and nonstressful relationships with laboratory personnel are dimensions that have dominated the discussion. Regulators were careful not to direct a specific set of prescriptions (i.e., engineering standards) for the attainment of these goals, but to leave the design of the programs substantially up to "professional judgment" at the local level. Recently, however, the Institute of Medicine, in its path-finding 2011 report on the necessity of chimpanzee use in research, bypassed this flexible and contingent concept, and instead, required as a central precondition that chimpanzees be housed in "ethologically appropriate" environments. In so doing, obligations of ethical treatment of one great ape species were elevated above the needs of some research. The evolution and significance of this change are discussed. PMID:24627265

  11. Human hippocampal processing of environmental novelty during spatial navigation.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Raphael; Horner, Aidan J; Bandettini, Peter A; Doeller, Christian F; Burgess, Neil

    2014-07-01

    The detection and processing of novel information encountered as we explore our environment is crucial for learning and adaptive behavior. The human hippocampus has been strongly implicated in laboratory tests of novelty detection and episodic memory, but has been less well studied during more ethological tasks such as spatial navigation, typically used in animals. We examined fMRI BOLD activity as a function of environmental and object novelty as humans performed an object-location virtual navigation task. We found greater BOLD response to novel relative to familiar environments in the hippocampus and adjacent parahippocampal gyrus. Object novelty was associated with increased activity in the posterior parahippocampal/fusiform gyrus and anterior hippocampus extending into the amygdala and superior temporal sulcus. Importantly, whilst mid-posterior hippocampus was more sensitive to environmental novelty than object novelty, the anterior hippocampus responded similarly to both forms of novelty. Amygdala activity showed an increase for novel objects that decreased linearly over the learning phase. By investigating how participants learn and use different forms of information during spatial navigation, we found that medial temporal lobe (MTL) activity reflects both the novelty of the environment and of the objects located within it. This novelty processing is likely supported by distinct, but partially overlapping, sets of regions within the MTL. PMID:24550152

  12. The Politics of Attachment: Lines of Flight with Bowlby, Deleuze and Guattari

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Monica; Solomon, Judith

    2015-01-01

    Research on attachment is widely regarded in sociology and feminist scholarship as politically conservative – oriented by a concern to police families, pathologize mothers and emphasize psychological at the expense of socio-economic factors. These critiques have presented attachment theory as constructing biological imperatives to naturalize contingent, social demands. We propose that a more effective critique of the politically conservative uses of attachment theory is offered by engaging with the ‘attachment system’ at the level of ontology. In developing this argument we draw on Deleuze and Guattari, making use of the common language of ethology which links their ideas to that of attachment theory. The attachment system can and has been reified into an image of the infant returning to their caregiver as an image of familial sufficiency. This has offered ammunition for discourses and institutions which isolate women from health, social and political resources. Yet Deleuze and Guattari can help attachment theory and research to be recognized as a powerful ally for progressive politics, for reflection on the movement of human individuation, and for arguing for the meaningful resourcing of those who care for someone else. PMID:27110049

  13. The Reformulation of Emotional Security Theory: The Role of Children’s Social Defense in Developmental Psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Patrick T.; Martin, Meredith J.

    2014-01-01

    Although children’s security in the context of the interparental relationship has been identified as a key explanatory mechanism in pathways between family discord and child psychopathology, little is known about the inner workings of emotional security as a goal system. Accordingly, the objective of this paper is to describe how our reformulation of emotional security theory (EST-R) within an ethological and evolutionary framework may advance the characterization of the architecture and operation of emotional security and, in the process, cultivate sustainable growing points in developmental psychopathology. The first section of the paper describes how children’s security in the interparental relationship is organized around a distinctive behavioral system designed to defend against interpersonal threat. Building on this evolutionary foundation for emotional security, the paper offers an innovative taxonomy for identifying qualitatively different ways children try to preserve their security and its innovative implications for more precisely informing understanding of the mechanisms in pathways between family and developmental precursors and children’s trajectories of mental health. In the final section, the paper highlights the potential of EST-R to stimulate new generations of research on understanding how children defend against social threats in ecologies beyond the interparental dyad, including both familial and extrafamilial settings. PMID:24342849

  14. The period gene and allochronic reproductive isolation in Bactrocera cucurbitae.

    PubMed

    Miyatake, Takahisa; Matsumoto, Akira; Matsuyama, Takashi; Ueda, Hiroki R; Toyosato, Tetsuya; Tanimura, Teiichi

    2002-12-01

    Clock genes that pleiotropically control circadian rhythm and the time of mating may cause allochronic reproductive isolation in the melon fly Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Flies with a shorter circadian period (ca. 22 h of locomotor activity rhythm) mated 5 h earlier in the day than those with a longer circadian period (ca. 30 h). Mate-choice tests demonstrated significant pre-mating isolation between populations with short and long circadian periods. Pre-mating isolation did not occur when the mating time was synchronized between the two populations by photoperiodic controls, indicating that reproductive isolation is due to variations in the time of mating and not any unidentified ethological difference between the two populations. We cloned the period (per) gene of B. cucurbitae that is homologous to the per gene in Drosophila. The relative level of per mRNA in the melon fly exhibited a robust daily fluctuation under light : dark conditions. The fluctuation of per expression under dark : dark conditions is closely correlated to the locomotor rhythm in B. cucurbitae. These results suggest that clock genes can cause reproductive isolation via the pleiotropic effect as a change of mating time. PMID:12495490

  15. Analytical methods for chemical and sensory characterization of scent-markings in large wild mammals: a review.

    PubMed

    Soso, Simone B; Koziel, Jacek A; Johnson, Anna; Lee, Young Jin; Fairbanks, W Sue

    2014-01-01

    In conjoining the disciplines of "ethology" and "chemistry" the field of "Ethochemistry" has been instituted. Ethochemistry is an effective tool in conservation efforts of endangered species and the understanding of behavioral patterns across all species. Chemical constituents of scent-markings have an important, yet poorly understood function in territoriality, reproduction, dominance, and impact on evolutionary biology, especially in large mammals. Particular attention has recently been focused on scent-marking analysis of great cats (Kalahari leopards (Panthera pardus), puma (Puma concolor) snow leopard (Panthera uncia), African lions (Panthera leo), cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), and tigers (Panthera tigris)) for the purpose of conservation. Sensory analyses of scent-markings could address knowledge gaps in ethochemistry. The objective of this review is to summarize the current state-of-the art of both the chemical and sensory analyses of scent-markings in wild mammals. Specific focus is placed on sampling and sample preparation, chemical analysis, sensory analysis, and simultaneous chemical and sensory analyses. Constituents of exocrine and endocrine secretions have been most commonly studied with chromatography-based analytical separations. Odor analysis of scent-markings provides an insight into the animal's sensory perception. A limited number of articles have been published in the area of sensory characterization of scent marks. Simultaneous chemical and sensory analyses with chromatography-olfactometry hyphenation could potentially aid conservation efforts by linking perceived odor, compounds responsible for odor, and resulting behavior. PMID:24603639

  16. Depression, masochism, and biology.

    PubMed

    Asch, S S

    1985-01-01

    In examining the conditions of depression and masochism, my intention has been to expand our area of study beyond psychodynamics alone. My first aim was to present what I believe are the intimately intertwined dynamics of each condition, a metaphorical double helix of depression and masochism in a matrix of narcissism. It may make clearer how either depression or masochism may present clinically in combination, at times in tandem, or manifestly as either state alone. My second, but major, aim is ecumenical: to interweave contributions from outside psychoanalysis. The neurophysiological bases and genetic determinants for most depressions are by now well-recognized. Masochism, much like depression, with which it is closely allied, may not necessarily arise out of conflict alone. I have presented brief excerpts of material, much of it still speculative, from areas of genetics, biochemistry, and ethology, to support the concept of a biological anlage for masochism. This would help explain the enormous difficulties therapists find in the path of its successful treatment. I believe Lorenz's theories on animal "bonding" suggest precursors to our concepts of masochism. I further believe our field of study has reached the point at which these and probably additional scientific disciplines can be helpful or even necessary for the further understanding of character, and for the solution of the persistent riddle of masochism, whose full understanding has continued to elude us. PMID:2991102

  17. Effects of Water Temperature Change on the Hematological Responses and Plasma Cortisol Levels in Growing of Red Spotted Grouper, Epinephelus akaara

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Hyun Chul; Kim, Ji Eun; Kim, Hyung Bae; Baek, Hea Ja

    2015-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine the stress response [ethological (operculum movement number (OMN)), hematological (hematocrit and hemoglobin), biochemical (glucose, cortisol and glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT))] in red spotted grouper, Epinephelus akaara during exposure of different water temperature in winter season. This species (Total length, 18.56±0.34 cm) previously maintained in water temperature of 15°C were transferred to 15, 20 and 25°C. During experimental period (7 days), OMN, hematocrit (Ht), glucose and GOT values were significantly high in 15°C when compared to 20 and 25°C. Hemoglobin value was also increased at 15°C, but no significant differences. There was no differences in cortisol levels among the temperature groups. No fish mortality was observed during the experimental period. From these results, 15°C is likely more stressful to red spotted grouper than 20°C and 25°C. These observations confirm that red spotted grouper adapts better to temperatures between 20 and 25°C during the winter season. PMID:25949206

  18. Post-fledging brood and care division in the roseate tern (Sterna dougallii)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Watson, M.J.; Spendelow, J.A.; Hatch, J.J.

    2012-01-01

    Extended post-fledging parental care is an important aspect of parental care in birds, although little studied due to logistic difficulties. Commonly, the brood is split physically (brood division) and/or preferential care is given to a subset of the brood by one parent or the other (care division). Among gulls and tern (Laridae), males and females generally share parental activities during the pre-fledging period, but the allocation of parental care after fledging is little documented. This study examined the behaviour of male and female roseate terns (Sterna dougallii) during the late chick-rearing and early post-fledging periods, and in particular the amount of feeds and the time spent in attendance given to individual chicks/fledglings. Pre-fledging parental care was biparental in all cases. Post-fledging parental care was dependent on the number of fledglings in the brood. Males and females continued biparental care in clutches with one surviving fledgling, while in two-fledgling clutches, males fed the A-fledgling while females fed the B-fledgling. Overall, there was no difference in attendance, only in feeds. This division of care may be influenced by the male only being certain of the paternity of the A-chick but not by chick sex. ?? 2011 Japan Ethological Society and Springer.

  19. Repeated aerosol-vapor JP-8 jet fuel exposure affects neurobehavior and neurotransmitter levels in a rat model.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Carol M; Figueredo, Aurelio J; Wright, Lynda S; Wong, Simon S; Witten, Mark L

    2007-07-01

    Four groups of Fischer Brown Norway hybrid rats were exposed for 5, 10, 15, or 20 d to aerosolized-vapor jet propulsion fuel 8 (JP-8) compared to freely moving (5 and 10-d exposures) or sham-confined controls (15 and 20-d exposures). Behavioral testing utilized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Functional Observational Battery. Exploratory ethological factor analysis identified three salient factors (central nervous system [CNS] excitability, autonomic 1, and autonomic 2) for use in profiling JP-8 exposure in future studies. The factors were used as dependent variables in general linear modeling. Exposed animals were found to engage in more rearing and hyperaroused behavior compared to controls, replicating prior JP-8 exposure findings. Exposed animals also showed increasing but rapidly decelerating stool output (autonomic 1), and a significant increasing linear trend for urine output (autonomic 2). No significant trends were noted for either of the control groups for the autonomic factors. Rats from each of the groups for each of the time frames were randomly selected for tissue assay from seven brain regions for neurotransmitter levels. Hippocampal DOPAC was significantly elevated after 4-wk JP-8 exposure compared to both control groups, suggesting increased dopamine release and metabolism. Findings indicate that behavioral changes do not appear to manifest until wk 3 and 4 of exposure, suggesting the need for longitudinal studies to determine if these behaviors occur due to cumulative exposure, or due to behavioral sensitization related to repeated exposure to aerosolized-vapor JP-8. PMID:17573634

  20. The role of Pleistocene glaciations in shaping the evolution of polar and brown bears. Evidence from a critical review of mitochondrial and nuclear genome analyses.

    PubMed

    Hassanin, Alexandre

    2015-07-01

    In this report, I review recent molecular studies dealing with the origin and evolution of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), with special emphasis on their relationships with brown bears (U. arctos). On the basis of mitochondrial and nuclear data, different hypotheses have been proposed, including rapid morphological differentiation of U. maritimus, genetic introgression from U. arctos into U. maritimus, or inversely from U. maritimus into U. arctos, involving either male- or female-mediated gene flow. In the light of available molecular and eco-ethological data, I suggest, firstly, that all divergences among major clades of large bears can be linked to glacial periods, secondly, that polar bears diverged from brown bears before 530 thousand years ago (ka), during one of the three glacial marine isotope stages (MIS) 14, 15.2 or 16, and, thirdly, that genetic introgression had occurred from female polar bears into brown bear populations during at least two glacial periods, at 340 ± 10 ka (MIS 10) in western Europe, and at 155 ± 5 ka (MIS 6) on the ABC islands of southeastern Alaska, and probably also in Beringia and Ireland based on ancient DNA sequences. PMID:26026577

  1. Perceptual Learning In The Developing Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Shaowen

    2015-01-01

    A hallmark of the developing auditory cortex is the heightened plasticity in the critical period, during which acoustic inputs can indelibly alter cortical function. However, not all sounds in the natural acoustic environment are ethologically relevant. How does the auditory system resolve relevant sounds from the acoustic environment in such an early developmental stage when most associative learning mechanisms are not yet fully functional? What can the auditory system learn from one of the most important classes of sounds—animal vocalizations? How does naturalistic acoustic experience shape cortical sound representation and perception? To answer these questions, we need to consider an unusual strategy—statistical learning—where what the system needs to learn is embedded in the sensory input. Here, I will review recent findings on how certain statistical structure of natural animal vocalizations shapes auditory cortical acoustic representations, and how cortical plasticity may underlie learned categorical sound perception. These results will be discussed in the context of human speech perception. PMID:25728188

  2. [Early attachement relationships and epigenetic customization].

    PubMed

    Rocchi, Giordana; Serio, Valentina; Carluccio, Giuseppe Mattia; Marini, Isabella; Meuti, Valentina; Zaccagni, Michela; Giacchetti, Nicoletta; Aceti, Franca

    2015-01-01

    Recently, new findings in epigenetic science switched the focus from the observation of physiological intragenomic dynamics to the idea of an environmental co-construction of phenotypic expression. In psichodynamic field, objectual relations and attachement theoreticians emphasized the interpersonal dimension of individual development, focusing the attention on the relational matrix of self organization. The construction of stable affective-behavioral traits throughout different parenting styles has actually found a coincidence in ethological studies, which have explored the epigenetic processes underlying the relationship between caregiving and HPA stress responsiveness. An adequate parenting style seems to support affective regulation throughout psychobiological hidden moderators, which would tend to rebalance the physiological systems homeostasis; an unconfident attachment style would promote, on the other hand, the allostatic load rise. Sites of longlife epigenetic susceptibility have also been identified in humans; although associated with risk of maladaptive developing in adverse environmental conditions, they seem to confer protection under favorable conditions. This persisting possibility of reorganization of stable traits throughout lifetime, which seems to be activated by a relevant environmental input, grant to significant relationships, and to therapeutical one as well, an implicit reconditioning potential which could result into the configuration of new stable affective-behavioral styles. PMID:26418595

  3. Human sound localization: measurements in untrained, head-unrestrained subjects using gaze as a pointer.

    PubMed

    Populin, Luis C

    2008-09-01

    Studies of sound localization in humans have used various behavioral measures to quantify the observers' perceptions; a non-comprehensive list includes verbal reports, head pointing, gun pointing, stylus pointing, and laser aiming. Comparison of localization performance reveals that in humans, just as in animals, different results are obtained with different experimental tasks. Accordingly, to circumvent problems associated with task selection and training, this study used gaze, an ethologically valid behavior for spatial pointing in species with a specialized area of the fovea, to measure sound localization perception of human subjects. Orienting using gaze as a pointer does not require training, preserves the natural link between perception and action, and allows for direct behavioral comparisons across species. The results revealed, unexpectedly, a large degree of variability across subjects in both accuracy and precision. The magnitude of the average angular localization errors for the most eccentric horizontal targets, however, were very similar to those documented in studies that used head pointing, whereas the magnitude of the localization errors for the frontal targets were considerably larger. In addition, an overall improvement in sound localization in the context of the memory-saccade task, as well as a lack of effect of initial eye and head position on perceived sound location were documented. PMID:18575853

  4. Host finding of the pigeon tick Argas reflexus.

    PubMed

    Boxler, B; Odermatt, P; Haag-Wackernagel, D

    2016-06-01

    The medically and veterinary important feral pigeon tick Argas reflexus (Ixodida: Argasidae) Fabricius usually feeds on pigeons, but if its natural hosts are not available, it also enters dwellings to bite humans that can possibly react with severe allergic reactions. Argas reflexus is ecologically extremely successful as a result of some outstanding morphological, physiological, and ethological features. Yet, it is still unknown how the pigeon tick finds its hosts. Here, different host stimuli such as living nestlings as well as begging calls, body heat, smell, host breath and tick faeces, were tested under controlled laboratory conditions. Of all stimuli tested, only heat played a role in host-finding. The heat stimulus was then tested under natural conditions within a pigeon loft. The results showed that A. reflexus is able to find a host over short distances of only a few centimetres. Furthermore, it finds its host by random movements and recognizes a host only right before direct contact is made. The findings are useful for the control of A. reflexus in infested apartments, both to diagnose an infestation and to perform a success monitoring after disinfestation. PMID:26959079

  5. Intercommunity differences in aggression among Zapotec children.

    PubMed

    Fry, D P

    1988-08-01

    Patterns of play aggression and serious aggression were compared in 2 neighboring Zapotec Indian communities that have different levels of adult violence. Social learning theory provided the basis for predicting that levels of agonistic behavior among children would parallel levels of violence among adults. Ethological methods were employed to observe 3-8-year-old children (N = 48). An examination of physical aggression and nonphysical threatening showed that agonism generally was more severe among the children of the more aggressive community. That is, children from the more aggressive community engaged in more actual fighting (p = .005) and play fighting (p = .0001) than their counterparts from the other community. On the other hand, children from the less aggressive community used more noncontact threatening than the children from the more aggressive community (p = .0001). These findings suggest that community differences in levels of violence are perpetuated as Zapotec children learn community-appropriate patterns for expressing aggression and continue to express these patterns as adults. Possible functions of play fighting are also discussed. PMID:3168610

  6. Genetic analysis of Indian tasar silkmoth (Antheraea mylitta) populations.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Saikat; Muthulakshmi, M; Vardhini, Deena; Jayaprakash, P; Nagaraju, J; Arunkumar, K P

    2015-01-01

    Indian tasar silkmoth, Antheraea mylitta is an economically important wild silkmoth species distributed across India. A number of morphologically and ethologically well-defined ecotypes are known for this species that differ in their primary food plant specificity. Most of these ecotypes do not interbreed in nature, but are able to produce offspring under captive conditions. Microsatellite markers were developed for A. mylitta, and out of these, ten well-behaved microsatellite loci were used to analyze the population structure of different ecoraces. A total of 154 individual moths belonging to eight different ecoraces, were screened at each locus. Hierarchical analysis of population structure using Analysis of MOlecular VAriance (AMOVA) revealed significant structuring (FST = 0.154) and considerable inbreeding (FIS = 0.505). A significant isolation by distance was also observed. The number of possible population clusters was investigated using distance method, Bayesian algorithm and self organization maps (SOM). The first two methods revealed two distinct clusters, whereas the SOM showed the different ecoraces not to be clearly differentiated. These results suggest that although there is a large degree of phenotypic variation among the different ecoraces of A. mylitta, genetically they are not very different, and the phenotypic differences may largely be a result of their respective ecology. PMID:26510465

  7. Genetic analysis of Indian tasar silkmoth (Antheraea mylitta) populations

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Saikat; Muthulakshmi, M; Vardhini, Deena; Jayaprakash, P; Nagaraju, J; Arunkumar, K. P.

    2015-01-01

    Indian tasar silkmoth, Antheraea mylitta is an economically important wild silkmoth species distributed across India. A number of morphologically and ethologically well-defined ecotypes are known for this species that differ in their primary food plant specificity. Most of these ecotypes do not interbreed in nature, but are able to produce offspring under captive conditions. Microsatellite markers were developed for A. mylitta, and out of these, ten well-behaved microsatellite loci were used to analyze the population structure of different ecoraces. A total of 154 individual moths belonging to eight different ecoraces, were screened at each locus. Hierarchical analysis of population structure using Analysis of MOlecular VAriance (AMOVA) revealed significant structuring (FST = 0.154) and considerable inbreeding (FIS = 0.505). A significant isolation by distance was also observed. The number of possible population clusters was investigated using distance method, Bayesian algorithm and self organization maps (SOM). The first two methods revealed two distinct clusters, whereas the SOM showed the different ecoraces not to be clearly differentiated. These results suggest that although there is a large degree of phenotypic variation among the different ecoraces of A. mylitta, genetically they are not very different, and the phenotypic differences may largely be a result of their respective ecology. PMID:26510465

  8. Complex and transitive synchronization in a frustrated system of calling frogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aihara, Ikkyu; Takeda, Ryu; Mizumoto, Takeshi; Otsuka, Takuma; Takahashi, Toru; Okuno, Hiroshi G.; Aihara, Kazuyuki

    2011-03-01

    This letter reports synchronization phenomena and mathematical modeling on a frustrated system of living beings, or Japanese tree frogs (Hyla japonica). While an isolated male Japanese tree frog calls nearly periodically, he can hear sounds including calls of other males. Therefore, the spontaneous calling behavior of interacting males can be understood as a system of coupled oscillators. We construct a simple but biologically reasonable model based on the experimental results of two frogs, extend the model to a system of three frogs, and theoretically predict the occurrence of rich synchronization phenomena, such as triphase synchronization and 1:2 antiphase synchronization. In addition, we experimentally verify the theoretical prediction by ethological experiments on the calling behavior of three frogs and time series analysis on recorded sound data. Note that the calling behavior of three male Japanese tree frogs is frustrated because almost perfect antiphase synchronization is robustly observed in a system of two male frogs. Thus, nonlinear dynamics of the three-frogs system should be far from trivial.

  9. Brain disorders and the biological role of music

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Camilla N.; Downey, Laura E.

    2015-01-01

    Despite its evident universality and high social value, the ultimate biological role of music and its connection to brain disorders remain poorly understood. Recent findings from basic neuroscience have shed fresh light on these old problems. New insights provided by clinical neuroscience concerning the effects of brain disorders promise to be particularly valuable in uncovering the underlying cognitive and neural architecture of music and for assessing candidate accounts of the biological role of music. Here we advance a new model of the biological role of music in human evolution and the link to brain disorders, drawing on diverse lines of evidence derived from comparative ethology, cognitive neuropsychology and neuroimaging studies in the normal and the disordered brain. We propose that music evolved from the call signals of our hominid ancestors as a means mentally to rehearse and predict potentially costly, affectively laden social routines in surrogate, coded, low-cost form: essentially, a mechanism for transforming emotional mental states efficiently and adaptively into social signals. This biological role of music has its legacy today in the disordered processing of music and mental states that characterizes certain developmental and acquired clinical syndromes of brain network disintegration. PMID:24847111

  10. The biobehavioral consequences of psychogenic stress in a small, social primate (Callithrix jacchus jacchus).

    PubMed

    Johnson, E O; Kamilaris, T C; Carter, C S; Calogero, A E; Gold, P W; Chrousos, G P

    1996-09-01

    The biobehavioral consequences of psychogenic stress were examined using neuroendocrine and ethological methods in a captive colony of common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus jacchus). Specifically, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity was evaluated as a function of gender and social status in four consecutive social environments [(1) stable heterosexual pairs; (2) isolation; (3) unstable peer groups; and (4) stable peer groups], by measuring both basal plasma cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and beta-endorphin concentrations and responsiveness of these hormones to dexamethasone, ovine corticotropin-releasing hormone (oCRH), and ACTH1-24. Socially stressful conditions, such as isolation and peer group formation, were associated with increased HPA axis function and behavioral arousal, and individual profiles were related to gender and social status. Hormonal levels prior to group formation predicted subsequent status in peer groups. Basal morning concentrations of plasma cortisol, as well as cortisol responsiveness to dexamethasone suppression, were sensitive indices of HPA axis arousal during periods of social stress. The context-dependent development of hormonal and behavioral profiles, reminiscent of depression and/or anorexia nervosa, suggests that the common marmoset may be a useful model of psychiatric hypercortisolism. PMID:8874833

  11. Cognitive processes in bird song

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cynx, Jeffrey

    2001-05-01

    Anthropomorphic hypotheses can alter previous ethological concepts. Songbirds have been traditionally categorized as open- or close-ended learners. Open-ended learners such as canaries and starlings continue to learn new songs throughout life. Close-ended learners such as song sparrows and zebra finches appear to learn song once and then repeat this song in a stereotyped or crystallized manner for the rest of their lives. Research over the last dozen years or so has produced evidence that whatever is close-ended in songbirds may be more than a little ajar. It is clear that adult song is a highly dynamic and closely monitored act. In these regards, it has a number of cognitive processes similar to human speech. Birds appear to continually monitor their own song, being able to stop in midsong if necessary. They also regulate the song amplitude given environmental and social conditions, and show song perturbations when experiencing delayed auditory feedback. However, so far as is known, close-ended learners cannot learn new song elements from a model, although there are hints to the contrary, including both behavioral and physiological results.

  12. The Contribution of Equitation Science to Minimising Horse-Related Risks to Humans.

    PubMed

    Starling, Melissa; McLean, Andrew; McGreevy, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Equitation science is an evidence-based approach to horse training and riding that focuses on a thorough understanding of both equine ethology and learning theory. This combination leads to more effective horse training, but also plays a role in keeping horse riders and trainers safe around horses. Equitation science underpins ethical equitation, and recognises the limits of the horse's cognitive and physical abilities. Equitation is an ancient practice that has benefited from a rich tradition that sees it flourishing in contemporary sporting pursuits. Despite its history, horse-riding is an activity for which neither horses nor humans evolved, and it brings with it significant risks to the safety of both species. This review outlines the reasons horses may behave in ways that endanger humans and how training choices can exacerbate this. It then discusses the recently introduced 10 Principles of Equitation Science and explains how following these principles can minimise horse-related risk to humans and enhance horse welfare. PMID:26907354

  13. [Relationship between characteristics of sexual behavior and male sperm competitive ability in taxa of superspecies complex Mus musculus sensu lato].

    PubMed

    Ambaryan, A B; Maltzev, A N; Kotenkova, E V

    2015-01-01

    Some physiological parameters that determine quality of male sperm (its concentration, spermatozoa morphology) and testicle size vary in integrity, i.e. the bigger are testicles the higher is sperm quality. Therefore, the estimate of testicles relative mass is often used as a characteristic of sperm competitive ability when comparing phylogenetically close mammal species. In house mice belonging to the superspecies complex Mus musculus s.l., testicles relative mass is greater in exoanthropic species than in synanthropic ones. It is shown in our study that this pattern is apparent also at the intraspecies level since testicles mass index, sperm concentration, and percentage of morphologically normal spermatozoa in subspecies Mus musculus wagneri, which is facultatively synanthropic, are higher compared with synanthropic subspecies M m. musculus. An analysis of sexual behavior of the three forms (namely, exoanthropic species M. spicilegus and two subspecies mentioned above) indicates that in M. spicilegus both sexual behavior efficiency and ejaculation rate during coupling were higher as compared with other two subspecies. Based on the analysis of life pattern, reproduction systems, and group spatial-ethological structure, the hypotheses are formulated that explain the maintenance of selection directed to increase of sperm competitive ability in exoanthropic house mice species. PMID:26201218

  14. Abnormal behavior in caged birds kept as pets.

    PubMed

    van Hoek, C S; ten Cate, C

    1998-01-01

    There are a limited number of studies dealing with abnormal behavior in caged birds kept as pets. However, these studies demonstrate the presence of abnormal behavior in both songbirds and parrots. Ethological studies on these birds, as well as studies on domestic and zoo birds, indicate that inappropriate rearing and housing conditions may lead to behavioral abnormalities. Together these data indicate that behavioral abnormalities occur among both wild-caught and domesticated pet birds. The severity and magnitude of these abnormalities is probably underestimated, and there is a need for systematic studies on the nature, origin, variability, species-specificity, and reversibility of behavioral problems in pet birds. Abnormal behavior in caged birds may to some extent be prevented and reduced by environmental enrichment. However, most enrichment studies are anecdotal and not based on a thorough analysis of the behavioral abnormalities, which may lead to measures resulting in a reduction of symptoms rather than the underlying causes. Although it is likely that several of these problems could be reduced by modifying rearing and housing conditions, the current insights into the causal mechanisms underlying abnormal behavior of domesticated and wild-caught pet birds are limited, as are the insights into the possibilities of preventing or curing abnormal behavior. PMID:16363987

  15. Models and mechanisms of anxiety: evidence from startle studies

    PubMed Central

    Grillon, Christian

    2009-01-01

    Rationale Preclinical data indicates that threat stimuli elicit two classes of defensive behaviors, those that are associated with imminent danger and are characterized by avoidance or fight (fear), and those that are associated with temporally uncertain danger and are characterized by sustained apprehension and hypervigilance (anxiety). Objective To 1) review evidence for a distinction between fear and anxiety in animal and human experimental models using the startle reflex as an operational measure of aversive states, 2) describe experimental models of anxiety, as opposed to fear, in humans, 3) examine the relevance of these models to clinical anxiety. Results The distinction between phasic fear to imminent threat and sustained anxiety to temporally uncertain danger is suggested by psychopharmacological and behavioral evidence from ethological studies and can be traced back to distinct neuroanatomical systems, the amygdala and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Experimental models of anxiety, not fear, are relevant to non-phobic anxiety disorders. Conclusions Progress in our understanding of normal and abnormal anxiety is critically dependent on our ability to model sustained aversive states to temporally uncertain threat. PMID:18058089

  16. Effects of acidic-astressin and ovine-CRF microinfusions into the ventral hippocampus on defensive behaviors in rats

    PubMed Central

    Pentkowski, Nathan S.; Litvin, Yoav; Blanchard, D. Caroline; Vasconcellos, Amy; King, Lanikea B.; Blanchard, Robert J.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated a possible role for ventral hippocampal corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in modulating both unconditioned and conditioned defensive behaviors by examining the effects of pre-training ventral hippocampal ovine-CRF (oCRF) or acidic-astressin ([Glu11,16]Ast) microinfusions in male Long Evans hooded rats exposed to various threat stimuli including the elevated plus-maze (EPM) (oCRF), cat odor (oCRF and [Glu11,16]Ast) and a live cat ([Glu11,16]Ast). Unconditioned defensive behaviors were assessed during threat exposure, while conditioned defensive behaviors were assessed in each predator context 24 h after the initial threat encounter. Pre-training infusions of the CRF1 and CRF2 receptor agonist oCRF significantly increased defensive behaviors during both the unconditioned and conditioned components of the cat odor test, as well as exposure to the EPM. In contrast to the behavioral effects of oCRF microinfusions, the CRF1 and CRF2 receptor antagonist [Glu11,16]Ast significantly decreased defensive behaviors during exposure to cat odor, while producing no discernible effects following a second injection in the cat exposure test. During conditioned test trials, pre-training infusions of [Glu11,16]Ast also significantly reduced defensive behaviors during re-exposure to both predator contexts. These results suggest a specific role for ventral hippocampal CRF receptors in modulating anxiety-like behaviors in several ethologically relevant animal models of defense. PMID:19269291

  17. Effects of acidic-astressin and ovine-CRF microinfusions into the ventral hippocampus on defensive behaviors in rats.

    PubMed

    Pentkowski, Nathan S; Litvin, Yoav; Blanchard, D Caroline; Vasconcellos, Amy; King, Lanikea B; Blanchard, Robert J

    2009-06-01

    This study investigated a possible role for ventral hippocampal corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in modulating both unconditioned and conditioned defensive behaviors by examining the effects of pre-training ventral hippocampal ovine-CRF (oCRF) or acidic-astressin ([Glu(11,16)]Ast) microinfusions in male Long-Evans hooded rats exposed to various threat stimuli including the elevated plus-maze (EPM) (oCRF), cat odor (oCRF and [Glu(11,16)]Ast) and a live cat ([Glu(11,16)]Ast). Unconditioned defensive behaviors were assessed during threat exposure, while conditioned defensive behaviors were assessed in each predator context 24 h after the initial threat encounter. Pre-training infusions of the CRF(1) and CRF(2) receptor agonist oCRF significantly increased defensive behaviors during both the unconditioned and conditioned components of the cat odor test, as well as exposure to the EPM. In contrast to the behavioral effects of oCRF microinfusions, the CRF(1) and CRF(2) receptor antagonist [Glu(11,16)]Ast significantly decreased defensive behaviors during exposure to cat odor, while producing no discernible effects following a second injection in the cat exposure test. During conditioned test trials, pre-training infusions of [Glu(11,16)]Ast also significantly reduced defensive behaviors during re-exposure to both predator contexts. These results suggest a specific role for ventral hippocampal CRF receptors in modulating anxiety-like behaviors in several ethologically relevant animal models of defense. PMID:19269291

  18. Animal experimentation in forensic sciences: How far have we come?

    PubMed

    Cattaneo, C; Maderna, E; Rendinelli, A; Gibelli, D

    2015-09-01

    In the third millennium where ethical, ethological and cultural evolution seem to be leading more and more towards an inter-species society, the issue of animal experimentation is a moral dilemma. Speaking from a self-interested human perspective, avoiding all animal testing where human disease and therapy are concerned may be very difficult or even impossible; such testing may not be so easily justifiable when suffering-or killing-of non human animals is inflicted for forensic research. In order to verify how forensic scientists are evolving in this ethical issue, we undertook a systematic review of the current literature. We investigated the frequency of animal experimentation in forensic studies in the past 15 years and trends in publication in the main forensic science journals. Types of species, lesions inflicted, manner of sedation or anesthesia and euthanasia were examined in a total of 404 articles reviewed, among which 279 (69.1%) concerned studies involving animals sacrificed exclusively for the sake of the experiment. Killing still frequently includes painful methods such as blunt trauma, electrocution, mechanical asphyxia, hypothermia, and even exsanguination; of all these animals, apparently only 60.8% were anesthetized. The most recent call for a severe reduction if not a total halt to the use of animals in forensic sciences was made by Bernard Knight in 1992. In fact the principle of reduction and replacement, frequently respected in clinical research, must be considered the basis for forensic science research needing animals. PMID:26216717

  19. An infrared motion detector system for lossless real-time monitoring of animal preference tests.

    PubMed

    Pogány, A; Heszberger, J; Szurovecz, Zita; Vincze, E; Székely, T

    2014-12-01

    Automated behavioural observations are routinely used in many fields of biology, including ethology, behavioural ecology and physiology. When preferences for certain resources are investigated, the focus is often on simple response variables, such as duration and frequency of visits to choice chambers. Here we present an automated motion detector system that use passive infrared sensors to eliminate many drawbacks of currently existing methods. Signals from the sensors are processed by a custom-built interface, and after unnecessary data is filtered by a computer software, the total time and frequency of the subject's visits to each of the choice chambers are calculated. We validate the detector system by monitoring (using the system) and in the same time video recording mating preferences of zebra finches in a four-way choice apparatus. Manual scoring of the video recordings showed very high consistency with data from the detector system both for time and for frequency of visits. Furthermore, the validation revealed that if we used micro-switches or light barriers, the most commonly applied automatic detection techniques, this would have resulted in approximately 22% less information compared to our lossless system. The system provides a low-cost alternative for monitoring animal movements, and we discuss its further applicability. PMID:25475978

  20. [Automatic milking from a behavioral and welfare viewpoint].

    PubMed

    Wenzel, C

    2001-03-01

    Automatic milking systems have been shown to change the behaviour of cows. Because pre-determined milking and feeding times are eliminated, the cows must establish their own daily routine. They have to adapt to being milked according to their lactation. There are, however, indications that not all cows adapt well to the automatic system. Some herd members seem to have inhibitions about entering the milking stall. Too many cows per milking stall and a blocked milking system intensify the situation. Therefore, the cows must either be forced or attracted by food to enter the milking stall. Altogether some cows appear to be more stressed. Furthermore, the human-animal relationship changes due to the new work content. There is less manual work, more observation, and more computer data. The farmer needs to be well educated and must establish a new management program. If care is insufficient, if some herd members are less frequently milked, and if measures to reduce stress are not taken, it is clear that welfare problems could arise. Compared to milk quality and milk hygiene, technical solutions and regulations by law are not as important. Ethological knowledge must be taken into account if automatic milking is to be advantageous for both cow and man. PMID:11314465

  1. Lower attention to daily environment: a novel cue for detecting chronic horses’ back pain?

    PubMed Central

    Rochais, C.; Fureix, C.; Lesimple, C.; Hausberger, M.

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pain is thought to affect patients’ cognitive functioning, including attention. Loss of attention is likely to have an impact on the execution of daily tasks, and, therefore, to have negative effects. However, relationships between chronic pain and cognitive deficits are still debated. Pre-clinical studies using laboratory animals prove useful to model pain-related cognitive impairment, but animal models had to predict effects in the real world. This study investigates attentional engagement of domestic horses by comparing observations in a home setting and evaluations of vertebral disorders. We found that lower attentional engagement and the level of back disorders were correlated. Two different evaluation techniques of the state of horses’ spines gave similar results. We suggest that novel animal models would prove useful for identifying spontaneous behaviours indicative of chronic pain. We suggest that more ethological studies in human patients’ home environments would help to improve our understanding of the processes involved. Finally, these results yield interesting indications for evaluating animal welfare, as attentional engagement could become a reliable indicator of chronic pain and thus a useful tool for identification of suffering individuals. PMID:26823123

  2. In search of the last common ancestor: new findings on wild chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    McGrew, W. C.

    2010-01-01

    Modelling the behaviour of extinct hominins is essential in order to devise useful hypotheses of our species' evolutionary origins for testing in the palaeontological and archaeological records. One approach is to model the last common ancestor (LCA) of living apes and humans, based on current ethological and ecological knowledge of our closest living relations. Such referential modelling is based on rigorous, ongoing field studies of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus). This paper reviews recent findings from nature, focusing on those with direct implications for hominin evolution, e.g. apes, using elementary technology to access basic resources such as food and water, or sheltering in caves or bathing as thermoregulatory adaptations. I give preference to studies that directly address key issues, such as whether stone artefacts are detectible before the Oldowan, based on the percussive technology of hammer and anvil use by living apes. Detailed comparative studies of chimpanzees living in varied habitats, from rainforest to savannah, reveal that some behavioural patterns are universal (e.g. shelter construction), while others show marked (e.g. extractive foraging) or nuanced (e.g. courtship) cross-populational variation. These findings allow us to distinguish between retained, primitive traits of the LCA versus derived ones in the human lineage. PMID:20855301

  3. Cryptic confounding compounds: A brief consideration of the influences of anthropogenic contaminants on courtship and mating behavior

    PubMed Central

    Blocker, Tomica D.; Ophir, Alexander G.

    2012-01-01

    Contaminants, like pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and metals, are persistent and ubiquitous and are known to threaten the environment. Traditionally, scientists have considered the direct physiological risks that these contaminants pose. However, scientists have just begun to integrate ethology and toxicology to investigate the effects that contaminants have on behavior. This review considers the potential for contaminant effects on mating behavior. Here we assess the growing body of research concerning disruptions in sexual differentiation, courtship, sexual receptivity, arousal, and mating. We discuss the implications of these disruptions on conservation efforts and highlight the importance of recognizing the potential for environmental stressors to affect behavioral experimentation. More specifically, we consider the negative implications for anthropogenic contaminants to affect the immediate behavior of animals, and their potential to have cascading and/or long-term effects on the behavioral ecology and evolution of populations. Overall, we aim to raise awareness of the confounding influence that contaminants can have, and promote caution when interpreting results where the potential for cryptic affects are possible. PMID:24244068

  4. In tribute to Bob Blanchard: Divergent behavioral phenotypes of 16p11.2 deletion mice reared in same-genotype versus mixed-genotype cages.

    PubMed

    Yang, Mu; Lewis, Freeman; Foley, Gillian; Crawley, Jacqueline N

    2015-07-01

    Mouse models offer indispensable heuristic tools for studying genetic and environmental causes of neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism. Development of useful animal models of complex human behaviors depends not only on extensive knowledge of the human disease, but also on a deep understanding of animal behavior and ethology. Robert and Caroline Blanchard pioneered a number of elegant social paradigms in rodents. Their early work led to systematic delineations of rodent naturalist defensive behaviors,which were proven to be highly useful models of human psychiatric disorders, including fear and anxiety. Their work using the Visible Burrow System to study social stress in rats represented an unprecedented approach to study biological mechanisms of depression. In recent years, their extensive knowledge of mouse behavior and ethology enabled them to quickly become leading figures in the field of behavioral genetics of autism. To commemorate Robert Blanchard's influences on animal models of human psychiatric disorders, here we describe a study conceptualized and led by Mu Yang who was trained as a graduate student in the Blanchard laboratory in the early 2000s. This investigation focuses on social housing in a genetic mouse model of 16p11.2 deletion syndrome. Heterozygous deletions and duplications of a segment containing about 29 genes on human chromosome 16 appear in approximately 0.5–1% of all cases of autism. 16p11.2 deletion syndrome is also associated with intellectual disabilities and speech impairments. Our previous studies showed that a mouse model of 16p11.2 deletion syndrome exhibited deficits in vocalizations and novel object recognition, as compared to wildtype littermate control cagemates. In the spirit of Bob Blanchard's careful attention to the role of social dominance in rodent behaviors, we became interested in the question of whether behavioral outcomes of a mutation differ when mutants are housed in mixed genotype cages, versus housing only

  5. Selective and Efficient Neural Coding of Communication Signals Depends on Early Acoustic and Social Environment

    PubMed Central

    Amin, Noopur; Gastpar, Michael; Theunissen, Frédéric E.

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has shown that postnatal exposure to simple, synthetic sounds can affect the sound representation in the auditory cortex as reflected by changes in the tonotopic map or other relatively simple tuning properties, such as AM tuning. However, their functional implications for neural processing in the generation of ethologically-based perception remain unexplored. Here we examined the effects of noise-rearing and social isolation on the neural processing of communication sounds such as species-specific song, in the primary auditory cortex analog of adult zebra finches. Our electrophysiological recordings reveal that neural tuning to simple frequency-based synthetic sounds is initially established in all the laminae independent of patterned acoustic experience; however, we provide the first evidence that early exposure to patterned sound statistics, such as those found in native sounds, is required for the subsequent emergence of neural selectivity for complex vocalizations and for shaping neural spiking precision in superficial and deep cortical laminae, and for creating efficient neural representations of song and a less redundant ensemble code in all the laminae. Our study also provides the first causal evidence for ‘sparse coding’, such that when the statistics of the stimuli were changed during rearing, as in noise-rearing, that the sparse or optimal representation for species-specific vocalizations disappeared. Taken together, these results imply that a layer-specific differential development of the auditory cortex requires patterned acoustic input, and a specialized and robust sensory representation of complex communication sounds in the auditory cortex requires a rich acoustic and social environment. PMID:23630587

  6. Predator Stress Engages Corticotropin-releasing Factor and Opioid Systems to Alter the Operating Mode of Locus Coeruleus Norepinephrine Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Curtis, Andre L.; Leiser, Steven C.; Snyder, Kevin; Valentino, Rita J.

    2012-01-01

    The norepinephrine nucleus, locus coeruleus (LC), has been implicated in cognitive aspects of the stress response, in part through its regulation by the stress-related neuropeptide, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). LC neurons discharge in tonic and phasic modes that differentially modulate attention and behavior. Here, the effects of exposure to an ethologically relevant stressor, predator odor, on spontaneous (tonic) and auditory-evoked (phasic) LC discharge were characterized in unanesthetized rats. Similar to the effects of CRF, stressor presentation increased tonic LC discharge and decreased phasic auditory-evoked discharge, thereby decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio of the sensory response. This stress-induced shift in LC discharge towards a high tonic mode was prevented by a CRF antagonist. Moreover, CRF antagonism during stress unmasked a large decrease in tonic discharge rate that was opioid mediated because it was prevented by pretreatment with the opiate antagonist, naloxone. Elimination of both CRF and opioid influences with an antagonist combination rendered LC activity unaffected by the stressor. These results demonstrate that both CRF and opioid afferents are engaged during stress to fine-tune LC activity. The predominant CRF influence shifts the operational mode of LC activity towards a high tonic state that is thought to facilitate behavioral flexibility and may be adaptive in coping with the stressor. Simultaneously, stress engages an opposing opioid influence that restrains the CRF influence and may facilitate recovery towards pre-stress levels of activity. Changes in the balance of CRF:opioid regulation of the LC could have consequences for stress vulnerability. PMID:22210331

  7. Whisker Movements Reveal Spatial Attention: A Unified Computational Model of Active Sensing Control in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Mitchinson, Ben; Prescott, Tony J.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial attention is most often investigated in the visual modality through measurement of eye movements, with primates, including humans, a widely-studied model. Its study in laboratory rodents, such as mice and rats, requires different techniques, owing to the lack of a visual fovea and the particular ethological relevance of orienting movements of the snout and the whiskers in these animals. In recent years, several reliable relationships have been observed between environmental and behavioural variables and movements of the whiskers, but the function of these responses, as well as how they integrate, remains unclear. Here, we propose a unifying abstract model of whisker movement control that has as its key variable the region of space that is the animal's current focus of attention, and demonstrate, using computer-simulated behavioral experiments, that the model is consistent with a broad range of experimental observations. A core hypothesis is that the rat explicitly decodes the location in space of whisker contacts and that this representation is used to regulate whisker drive signals. This proposition stands in contrast to earlier proposals that the modulation of whisker movement during exploration is mediated primarily by reflex loops. We go on to argue that the superior colliculus is a candidate neural substrate for the siting of a head-centred map guiding whisker movement, in analogy to current models of visual attention. The proposed model has the potential to offer a more complete understanding of whisker control as well as to highlight the potential of the rodent and its whiskers as a tool for the study of mammalian attention. PMID:24086120

  8. Avoidance and contextual learning induced by a kairomone, a pheromone and a common odorant in female CD1 mice.

    PubMed

    Fortes-Marco, Lluís; Lanuza, Enrique; Martínez-García, Fernando; Agustín-Pavón, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    the ethological significance of odorants. PMID:26500474

  9. The effect of escapable versus inescapable social defeat on conditioned defeat and social recognition in Syrian hamsters.

    PubMed

    McCann, Katharine E; Huhman, Kim L

    2012-01-18

    Male Syrian hamsters are naturally aggressive animals that reliably defend their home territory against intruding conspecifics. Hamsters that lose agonistic encounters subsequently exhibit a striking change in their agonistic behavior, however, expressing no aggression and instead becoming highly submissive, a behavioral change that we have termed conditioned defeat. We have generally employed an inescapable defeat training protocol when studying conditioned defeat. The purpose of the present study was to determine if conditioned defeat is an epiphenomenon of the inescapable defeat experience by comparing the behavior of hamsters exposed to inescapable versus escapable defeat. In the conditioned defeat model, defeated hamsters subsequently generalize their submission and social avoidance to a novel, non-aggressive opponent, suggesting that hamsters subjected to inescapable defeat may not form a specific memory of their aggressive opponent. Thus, a secondary purpose of the present study was to determine whether hamsters subjected to our defeat protocol have the ability to recognize a familiar opponent following defeat. Our results provide evidence that conditioned defeat is not solely a by-product of inescapable defeat because all experimental animals, regardless of the type of defeat, expressed conditioned defeat during testing. We also found that animals experiencing an inescapable defeat avoided a familiar aggressor significantly more than they did an unfamiliar aggressor, demonstrating that these animals have the ability to recognize their previous attacker. Thus, we maintain that a variety of social defeat models, and conditioned defeat in particular, represent generalizable and ethologically valid models with which to study the effects of social stress on physiology and behavior. PMID:21945371

  10. The medial prefrontal cortex is both necessary and sufficient for the acquisition of conditioned defeat.

    PubMed

    Markham, Chris M; Luckett, Cloe A; Huhman, Kim L

    2012-02-01

    We have previously demonstrated that the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a key component of a neural circuit mediating memory formation for emotionally relevant stimuli in an ethologically-based model of conditioned fear, termed conditioned defeat (CD). In this model, subjects are socially defeated by a larger, more aggressive hamster. Upon subsequent exposure to a smaller, non-aggressive intruder, the defeated animal will show high levels of submissive behaviors and fail to defend its territory. Here we examined whether the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), an area with extensive connections with the amygdala, is also a component of this circuit. Temporary inactivation of the mPFC using muscimol, a GABA(A) receptor agonist, significantly enhanced the acquisition but not expression of CD, while blockade of GABA(A) receptors in the mPFC using bicuculline, a GABA(A) antagonist, impaired acquisition of CD. Given these findings, we next sought to test whether plasticity related to the defeat experience occurs in the mPFC. We infused anisomycin, a protein synthesis inhibitor, in the mPFC but this treatment did not alter the acquisition of CD. In our final experiment, we demonstrated that bicuculline failed to alter the acquisition of CD. Together, these results demonstrate for the first time that while the mPFC is both necessary and sufficient for the acquisition of CD, it does not appear to mediate plasticity related to the defeat experience. In contrast, while plasticity underlying CD does appear to occur in the BLA, GABAergic receptor inhibition in the BLA is not sufficient to enhance CD. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder'. PMID:22001285

  11. SCORHE: a novel and practical approach to video monitoring of laboratory mice housed in vivarium cage racks.

    PubMed

    Salem, Ghadi H; Dennis, John U; Krynitsky, Jonathan; Garmendia-Cedillos, Marcial; Swaroop, Kanchan; Malley, James D; Pajevic, Sinisa; Abuhatzira, Liron; Bustin, Michael; Gillet, Jean-Pierre; Gottesman, Michael M; Mitchell, James B; Pohida, Thomas J

    2015-03-01

    The System for Continuous Observation of Rodents in Home-cage Environment (SCORHE) was developed to demonstrate the viability of compact and scalable designs for quantifying activity levels and behavior patterns for mice housed within a commercial ventilated cage rack. The SCORHE in-rack design provides day- and night-time monitoring with the consistency and convenience of the home-cage environment. The dual-video camera custom hardware design makes efficient use of space, does not require home-cage modification, and is animal-facility user-friendly. Given the system's low cost and suitability for use in existing vivariums without modification to the animal husbandry procedures or housing setup, SCORHE opens up the potential for the wider use of automated video monitoring in animal facilities. SCORHE's potential uses include day-to-day health monitoring, as well as advanced behavioral screening and ethology experiments, ranging from the assessment of the short- and long-term effects of experimental cancer treatments to the evaluation of mouse models. When used for phenotyping and animal model studies, SCORHE aims to eliminate the concerns often associated with many mouse-monitoring methods, such as circadian rhythm disruption, acclimation periods, lack of night-time measurements, and short monitoring periods. Custom software integrates two video streams to extract several mouse activity and behavior measures. Studies comparing the activity levels of ABCB5 knockout and HMGN1 overexpresser mice with their respective C57BL parental strains demonstrate SCORHE's efficacy in characterizing the activity profiles for singly- and doubly-housed mice. Another study was conducted to demonstrate the ability of SCORHE to detect a change in activity resulting from administering a sedative. PMID:24706080

  12. Applying the ethoexperimental approach to neurodevelopmental syndrome research reveals exaggerated defensive behavior in Mecp2 mutant mice

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Brandon L.; Defensor, Erwin B.; Blanchard, D. Caroline; Blanchard, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Rett syndrome is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) associated with de novo mutations of the methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene. Mecp2 functions as a transcription factor that regulating the expression of hundreds of genes. Identification of the role of Mecp2 in specific neurodevelopmental symptoms remains an important research aim. We previously demonstrated that male mice possessing a truncation mutation in Mecp2 are hyper-social. We predicted that reduced fear or anxiety might underlie this enhanced affiliation. In order to probe risk assessment and anxiety-like behavior, we compared Mecp2 truncation mutants to their wild-type littermates in the elevated plus maze and elevated zero maze. Additionally, subjects were administered the mouse defense test battery to evaluate unconditioned fear- and panic-like behavior to a graded set of threat scenarios and a predator stimulus. Mutant mice showed no significant changes in anxiety-like behavior. Yet, they displayed hyper-reactive escape and defensive behaviors to an animate predatory threat stimulus. Notably, mutant mice engaged in exaggerated active defense responding to threat stimuli at nearly all phases of the fear battery. These results reveal abnormalities in emotion regulation in Mecp2 mutants particularly in response to ecologically relevant threats. This hyper-responsivity suggests that transcriptional targets of Mecp2 are critical to emotion regulation. Moreover, we suggest that detailed analysis of defensive behavior and aggression with ethologically relevant tasks provides an avenue to interrogate gene-behavior mechanisms neurodevelopmental and other psychiatric conditions. PMID:26066729

  13. The microbiota-gut-brain axis: neurobehavioral correlates, health and sociality.

    PubMed

    Montiel-Castro, Augusto J; González-Cervantes, Rina M; Bravo-Ruiseco, Gabriela; Pacheco-López, Gustavo

    2013-01-01

    Recent data suggest that the human body is not such a neatly self-sufficient island after all. It is more like a super-complex ecosystem containing trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that inhabit all our surfaces; skin, mouth, sexual organs, and specially intestines. It has recently become evident that such microbiota, specifically within the gut, can greatly influence many physiological parameters, including cognitive functions, such as learning, memory and decision making processes. Human microbiota is a diverse and dynamic ecosystem, which has evolved in a mutualistic relationship with its host. Ontogenetically, it is vertically inoculated from the mother during birth, established during the first year of life and during lifespan, horizontally transferred among relatives, mates or close community members. This micro-ecosystem serves the host by protecting it against pathogens, metabolizing complex lipids and polysaccharides that otherwise would be inaccessible nutrients, neutralizing drugs and carcinogens, modulating intestinal motility, and making visceral perception possible. It is now evident that the bidirectional signaling between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain, mainly through the vagus nerve, the so called "microbiota-gut-vagus-brain axis," is vital for maintaining homeostasis and it may be also involved in the etiology of several metabolic and mental dysfunctions/disorders. Here we review evidence on the ability of the gut microbiota to communicate with the brain and thus modulate behavior, and also elaborate on the ethological and cultural strategies of human and non-human primates to select, transfer and eliminate microorganisms for selecting the commensal profile. PMID:24109440

  14. Testing episodic memory in animals: a new approach.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, D P; Clayton, N S

    2001-08-01

    Episodic memory involves the encoding and storage of memories concerned with unique personal experiences and their subsequent recall, and it has long been the subject of intensive investigation in humans. According to Tulving's classical definition, episodic memory "receives and stores information about temporally dated episodes or events and temporal-spatial relations among these events." Thus, episodic memory provides information about the 'what' and 'when' of events ('temporally dated experiences') and about 'where' they happened ('temporal-spatial relations'). The storage and subsequent recall of this episodic information was thought to be beyond the memory capabilities of nonhuman animals. Although there are many laboratory procedures for investigating memory for discrete past episodes, until recently there were no previous studies that fully satisfied the criteria of Tulving's definition: they can all be explained in much simpler terms than episodic memory. However, current studies of memory for cache sites in food-storing jays provide an ethologically valid model for testing episodic-like memory in animals, thereby bridging the gap between human and animal studies memory. There is now a pressing need to adapt these experimental tests of episodic memory for other animals. Given the potential power of transgenic and knock-out procedures for investigating the genetic and molecular bases of learning and memory in laboratory rodents, not to mention the wealth of knowledge about the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the rodent hippocampus (a brain area heavily implicated in episodic memory), an obvious next step is to develop a rodent model of episodic-like memory based on the food-storing bird paradigm. The development of a rodent model system could make an important contribution to our understanding of the neural, molecular, and behavioral mechanisms of mammalian episodic memory. PMID:11566209

  15. Sex-specific prenatal stress effects on the rat reproductive axis and adrenal gland structure.

    PubMed

    Ashworth, Cheryl J; George, Susan O; Hogg, Charis O; Lai, Yu-Ting; Brunton, Paula J

    2016-06-01

    Social stress during pregnancy has profound effects on offspring physiology. This study examined whether an ethologically relevant social stress during late pregnancy in rats alters the reproductive axis and adrenal gland structure in post-pubertal male and female offspring. Prenatally stressed (PNS) pregnant rats (n=9) were exposed to an unfamiliar lactating rat for 10 min/day from day 16 to 20 of pregnancy inclusive, whereas control pregnant rats (n=9) remained in their home cages. Gonads, adrenal glands and blood samples were obtained from one female and one male from each litter at 11 to 12-weeks of age. Anogenital distance was measured. There was no treatment effect on body, adrenal or gonad weight at 11-12 weeks. PNS did not affect the number of primordial, secondary or tertiary ovarian follicles, numbers of corpora lutea or ovarian FSH receptor expression. There was an indication that PNS females had more primary follicles and greater ovarian aromatase expression compared with control females (both P=0.09). PNS males had longer anogenital distances (0.01±0.0 cm/g vs 0.008±0.00 cm/g; P=0.007) and higher plasma FSH concentrations (0.05 ng/mL vs 0.006 ng/mL; s.e.d.=0.023; P=0.043) compared with control males. There were no treatment effects on the number of Sertoli cells or seminiferous tubules, seminiferous tubule area, plasma testosterone concentration or testis expression of aromatase, FSH receptor or androgen receptor. PNS did not affect adrenal size. These data suggest that the developing male reproductive axis is more sensitive to maternal stress and that PNS may enhance aspects of male reproductive development. PMID:27026714

  16. The underestimated role of olfaction in avian reproduction ?

    PubMed Central

    Balthazart, Jacques; Taziaux, Mélanie

    2009-01-01

    Until the second half of the 20th century, it was broadly accepted that most birds are microsmatic if not anosmic and unable to detect and use olfactory information. Exceptions were eventually conceded for species like procellariiforms, vultures or kiwis that detect their food at least in part based on olfactory signals. During the past 20–30 years, many publications have appeared indicating that this view is definitely erroneous. We briefly review here anatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral data demonstrating that birds in general possess a functional olfactory system and are able to use olfactory information in a variety of ethological contexts, including reproduction. Recent work also indicates that brain activation induced by sexual interactions with a female is significantly affected by olfactory deprivation in Japanese quail. Brain activation was measured via immunocytochemical detection of the protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos. Changes observed concerned two brain areas that play a key role in the control of male sexual behavior, the medial preoptic nucleus and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis therefore suggesting a potential role of olfaction in the control of reproduction. The widespread idea that birds are anosmic or microsmatic is thus not supported by the available experimental data and presumably originates in our anthropomorphic view that leads us to think that birds do not smell because they have a rigid beak and nostrils and do not obviously sniff. Experimental analysis of this phenomenon is thus warranted and should lead to a significant change in our understanding of avian biology. PMID:18804490

  17. Effects of maternal exposure to aflatoxin B1 during pregnancy on fertility output of dams and developmental, behavioral and reproductive consequences in female offspring using a rat model.

    PubMed

    Supriya, Ch; Akhila, B; Pratap Reddy, K; Girish, B P; Sreenivasula Reddy, P

    2016-01-01

    A suboptimal in utero environment can have detrimental effects on the pregnancy and long-term adverse "programing" effects on the offspring. Aflatoxin B1 is one of the potent reproductive toxicants and currently detected in both milk and tissues. This article focuses on the effects of prenatal exposure to graded doses of aflatoxin B1 on the pregnancy outcomes of dams and postnatal developments of the female offspring, since these issues have ethological relevance in both animals and humans. Pregnant Wistar rats were injected intramuscularly with vehicle or aflatoxin B1 (10, 20, 50 or 100 μg/kg body weight/day) on days 12-19 of gestation. At parturition, newborns were observed for clinical signs of toxicity and survival. The female offspring were examined through a battery of tests in order to evaluate their developmental, behavioral and reproductive end points. All animals were born alive. The litter size of the aflatoxin B1 treated rats was comparable to the controls. However, the birth weight of the pups in the experimental group was significantly lower when compared to controls. Significant and persistent lags in cliff avoidance, negative geotaxis, surface rightening activity and ascending wire mesh, with a delay in elapsed time for vaginal opening were detected in the female progeny exposed to aflatoxin B1 during embryonic development. The locomotor activity and exploratory behavior in experimental females were significantly decreased than that of controls. Embryonic exposure to aflatoxin B1 also resulted in prolonged stress response, irregular estrus and suppressed fertility output in the progeny at their adulthood. These results indicate that in utero exposure to aflatoxin B1 severely compromised postnatal development of neonatal rats and caused irregular estrus that was accompanied by suppressed fertility output. PMID:26956420

  18. The pain of pain: challenges of animal behavior models.

    PubMed

    Barrett, James E

    2015-04-15

    Berend Olivier has had a long-standing interest in the utility of animal models for a wide variety of therapeutic indications. His work has spanned multiple types of models, blending ethological, or species typical and naturalistic behaviors, along with methodologies based on learned behavior. He has consistently done so, from an analytical as well as predictive perspective, and has made multiple contributions while working in both the pharmaceutical industry and within an academic institution. Although focused primarily on psychiatric disorders, Berend has conducted research in the area of pain in humans and in animals, demonstrating an expansive appreciation for the breadth, scope and significance of the science and applications of the discipline of pharmacology to these diverse areas. This review focuses on the use of animal models in pain research from the perspective of the long-standing deficiencies in the development of therapeutics in this area and from a preclinical perspective where the translational weaknesses have been quite problematic. The challenges confronting animal models of pain, however, are not unique to this area of research, as they cut across several therapeutic areas. Despite the deficiencies, failures and concerns, existing animal models of pain continue to be of widespread use and are essential to progress in pain research as well as in other areas. Although not focusing on specific animal models of pain, this paper seeks to examine general issues facing the use of these models. It does so by exploring alternative approaches which capture recent developments, which build upon principles and concepts we have learned from Berend's contributions, and which provide the prospect of helping to address the absence of novel therapeutics in this area. PMID:25583180

  19. Cutaneous eccrine glands of the foot pads of the small Madagascan tenrec ( Echinops telfairi, Insectivora, Tenrecidae): skin glands in a primitive mammal.

    PubMed

    Stumpf, Peter; Künzle, Heinz; Welsch, Ulrich

    2004-01-01

    In order to find correlations between skin gland morphology and specific ethological features, the cutaneous glands of the foot pads of the primitive mammal the Madagascan tenrec, Echinops telfairi, were studied by histological and various histochemical methods as well as by electron microscopy. In the foot pads specific eccrine skin glands occurred consisting of coiled ducts and tubular secretory portions, the lumina of which were considerably wider than in primate sweat glands. The secretory tubules were composed of branched myoepithelial cells and glandular cells. The latter contained abundant mitochondria, large amounts of glycogen particles and few secretory granules as well as individual heterolysosomes and myelin bodies. The lateral cell membrane was marked by extensive interdigitations. The apical membranes of all glandular cells contained proteoglycans with sulfated and carboxylated groups containing N-acetyl-glucosamine, N-acetyl-galactosamine, galactose and mannose. The expression pattern of cytokeratins of the glandular epithelium was variable and showed similarities to that of the human eccrine glands. Tubulin, vinculin and actin were expressed in the glandular epithelium. The secretory cells showed positive reactions with antibodies against antimicrobial peptides and IgA. A positive reaction was observed with antibodies against the androgen receptor. The PCNA and TUNEL reactions indicated that the tubular skin glands of Echinops are made up of a slowly renewing tissue. We conclude that the glands fulfill several functions: production of a fluid-rich secretory product, which may prevent slipping of the foot pads on the substrate during running or climbing, secretion of antimicrobial peptides and proteins, and playing a role in thermoregulation. PMID:14586691

  20. [Human ecology: an overview of man-environment relationships].

    PubMed

    Begossi, A

    1993-01-01

    Cultural ecology, ethnobiology, sociobiology, models of subsistence and of cultural transmission, and applied ecology as parts of human ecology have a common denominator: they all present an ecological basis as continued biological force. Both the concepts and analytical models of ecology are necessary for understanding the relationship between man and nature. Cultural ecology studies the influence of environmental variables on the behavior of human cultures; sociobiology studies the biological bases of behavior; and ethnobiology studies classification systems of nature. The disciplines of anthropology, geography, sociology, and psychology represent specific branches of human ecology. Cultural ecology or ecological anthropology arise from the interaction of ecology (evolution of systems) with anthropology. Sociobiology evolved since the early 1970s, and it includes the disciplines of classical ethnology, evolutive ecology, and genetics. The interaction of evolutive ecology with ethology helped create sociology. In Brazil the study of human ecology on indigenous human populations (in particular in the Amazon basin) deals with cultural ecology, ethnology, and models of subsistence (goal model, models of decision, the theory of players, linear programming, central place foraging). Recent work includes that of Neves (1989), Moran (1983), and Fearnside (1986) who studies acculturated Brazilian half-breed Indians, fishermen, and migrants. Ethnobiology is well represented in Brazilian studies of indigenous populations. The works of Posey (1983) about ethnobotanics, ethnoentemology, and ethnoecology with Kayapo Indians are distinguished. Studies about littoral populations and other fishermen and agriculturists include such ecological aspects as territoriality (Forman 1970), diversity, and subsistence models (Begossi 1992, Begossi and Richerson 1993), ethnoichthyology (Marques 1991), and food taboos (Begossi 1992). In the social, environmental, and conservationist context

  1. Impacts of anti-nerve growth factor antibody on pain-related behaviors and expressions of opioid receptor in spinal dorsal horn and dorsal root ganglia of rats with cancer-induced bone pain

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Yuanyuan; Wang, Zhibin; Ma, Jiaming; Hong, Tao; Zhu, Yongqiang; Li, Hongxi; Pan, Shinong

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate the impacts of anti-nerve growth factor antibody on pain-related behaviors and expressions of μ-opioid receptor in spinal dorsal horn and dorsal root ganglia of rats with cancer-induced bone pain. Methods The rats were randomly grouped and then injected with 10 μl of phosphate buffer saline or Walker256 tumor cells into the upper segment of left tibia. Thirteen days after the injection, the intrathecal catheterization was performed, followed by the injection of saline, anti-nerve growth factor, nerve growth factor, and naloxone twice a day. The pain ethological changes were measured at the set time points; the expression changes of μ-opioid receptor protein and mRNA in spinal dorsal horn and dorsal root ganglia were detected on the 18th day. Results After the tumor cells were injected into the tibia, hyperalgesia appeared and the expression of μ-opioid receptor protein and mRNA in spinal dorsal horn and dorsal root ganglia was increased, compared with the sham group; after intrathecally injected anti-nerve growth factor, the significant antinociceptive effects appeared, and the μ-opioid receptor expression was increased, compared with the cancer pain group; the μ-opioid receptor expressions in the other groups showed no statistical significance. The naloxone pretreatment could mostly inverse the antinociception effects of anti-nerve growth factor. Conclusions Anti-nerve growth factor could reduce hyperalgesia in the cancer-induced bone pain rats, and the antinociceptive effects were related with the upregulation of μ-opioid receptor. PMID:27118770

  2. Epidemiological Significance of the Domestic Black Pig (Sus scrofa) in Maintenance of Bovine Tuberculosis in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Di Marco, Vincenzo; Mazzone, Piera; Capucchio, Maria Teresa; Boniotti, Maria Beatrice; Aronica, Vincenzo; Russo, Miriam; Fiasconaro, Michele; Cifani, Noemi; Corneli, Sara; Biasibetti, Elena; Biagetti, Massimo; Pacciarini, Maria Lodovica; Cagiola, Monica; Pasquali, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is an emerging disease among wild animals in many parts of the world. Wildlife reservoir hosts may thus represent a potential source of infection for livestock and humans. We investigated the role played by the Sicilian black pig, an autochthonous free- or semi-free-ranging domestic pig breed, as a potential source of bTB infection in an area where bTB prevalence in cattle is high. We initially performed a preliminary field study to assess the occurrence of bTB in such animals. We sampled 119 pigs at abattoir and found 6.7% and 3.4% of them to be affected by gross tuberculous-like lesions (TBL) and Mycobacterium bovis culture positive, respectively. We then proceeded to investigate the dissemination and characteristics of lesions in a second field study performed on 100 animals sampled from infected herds. Here, tissues collected at the abattoir were examined macroscopically, microscopically, and by culture tests. Most pigs with TBL showed generalized lesions in both gross and histological examinations (53% and 65.5%, respectively). Head lymph nodes were the most frequently affected in both localized and generalized TB cases observed macroscopically and microscopically. M. bovis was the most frequently isolated etiologic agent. The molecular characterization of isolates from both field studies by spoligotyping and analysis of 12 mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit–variable number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) loci, followed by their comparison to isolates of cattle origin, suggested a potential transmission of mycobacteria from domestic animals to black pigs and vice versa. Our findings, along with ethological, ecological, and management considerations, suggest that the black pig might act as a bTB reservoir in the ecosystem under study. However, additional studies will be necessary to establish the true epidemiological significance of the Sicilian black pig. PMID:22322347

  3. Stable individual differences in separation calls during early development in cats and mice

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background The development of ethologically meaningful test paradigms in young animals is an essential step in the study of the ontogeny of animal personality. Here we explore the possibility to integrate offspring separation (distress) calls into the study of consistent individual differences in behaviour in two species of mammals, the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) and the mound-building mouse (Mus spicilegus). Such vocal responses in young mammals are a potentially useful test option as they represent an important element of mother-offspring communication with strong implications for offspring survival. In addition, the neural control of vocalisation is closely associated with emotional state. Results We found marked similarities in the pattern of individual responses of the young of both species to separation from their mother and littermates. In the domestic cat as well as in the mound-building mouse, individual differences in the frequency of calls and to a lesser extent in locomotor activity were repeatable across age, indicating the existence of personality types. Such consistencies across age were also apparent when only considering relative individual differences among litter siblings. In both species, however, individual patterns of vocalisation and locomotor activity were unrelated. This suggests that these two forms of behavioural responses to isolation represent different domains of personality, presumably based on different underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. Conclusions Brief separation experiments in young mammals, and particularly the measurement of separation calls, provide a promising approach to study the ontogeny of personality traits. Future long-term studies are needed to investigate the association of these traits with biologically meaningful and potentially repeatable elements of behaviour during later life. PMID:26816512

  4. HDAC I inhibition in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus differentially modulates predator-odor fear learning and generalization.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Robin K; Hebert, Jenna C; Thomas, Arthur S; Wann, Ellen G; Muzzio, Isabel A

    2015-01-01

    Although predator odors are ethologically relevant stimuli for rodents, the molecular pathways and contribution of some brain regions involved in predator odor conditioning remain elusive. Inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in the dorsal hippocampus has been shown to enhance shock-induced contextual fear learning, but it is unknown if HDACs have differential effects along the dorso-ventral hippocampal axis during predator odor fear learning. We injected MS-275, a class I HDAC inhibitor, bilaterally in the dorsal or ventral hippocampus of mice and found that it had no effects on innate anxiety in either region. We then assessed the effects of MS-275 at different stages of fear learning along the longitudinal hippocampal axis. Animals were injected with MS-275 or vehicle after context pre-exposure (pre-conditioning injections), when a representation of the context is first formed, or after exposure to coyote urine (post-conditioning injections), when the context becomes associated with predator odor. When MS-275 was administered after context pre-exposure, dorsally injected animals showed enhanced fear in the training context but were able to discriminate it from a neutral environment. Conversely, ventrally injected animals did not display enhanced learning in the training context but generalized the fear response to a neutral context. However, when MS-275 was administered after conditioning, there were no differences between the MS-275 and vehicle control groups in either the dorsal or ventral hippocampus. Surprisingly, all groups displayed generalization to a neutral context, suggesting that predator odor exposure followed by a mild stressor such as restraint leads to fear generalization. These results may elucidate distinct functions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in predator odor-induced fear conditioning as well as some of the molecular mechanisms underlying fear generalization. PMID:26441495

  5. Primates, Provisioning and Plants: Impacts of Human Cultural Behaviours on Primate Ecological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Sengupta, Asmita; McConkey, Kim R.; Radhakrishna, Sindhu

    2015-01-01

    Human provisioning of wildlife with food is a widespread global practice that occurs in multiple socio-cultural circumstances. Provisioning may indirectly alter ecosystem functioning through changes in the eco-ethology of animals, but few studies have quantified this aspect. Provisioning of primates by humans is known to impact their activity budgets, diets and ranging patterns. Primates are also keystone species in tropical forests through their role as seed dispersers; yet there is no information on how provisioning might affect primate ecological functions. The rhesus macaque is a major human-commensal species but is also an important seed disperser in the wild. In this study, we investigated the potential impacts of provisioning on the role of rhesus macaques as seed dispersers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. We studied a troop of macaques which were provisioned for a part of the year and were dependent on natural resources for the rest. We observed feeding behaviour, seed handling techniques and ranging patterns of the macaques and monitored availability of wild fruits. Irrespective of fruit availability, frugivory and seed dispersal activities decreased when the macaques were provisioned. Provisioned macaques also had shortened daily ranges implying shorter dispersal distances. Finally, during provisioning periods, seeds were deposited on tarmac roads that were unconducive for germination. Provisioning promotes human-primate conflict, as commensal primates are often involved in aggressive encounters with humans over resources, leading to negative consequences for both parties involved. Preventing or curbing provisioning is not an easy task as feeding wild animals is a socio-cultural tradition across much of South and South-East Asia, including India. We recommend the initiation of literacy programmes that educate lay citizens about the ill-effects of provisioning and strongly caution them against the practice. PMID:26536365

  6. Neuroendocrine regulation of long-term pair maintenance in the monogamous zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Prior, Nora H; Soma, Kiran K

    2015-11-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "SBN 2014". Understanding affiliative behavior is critical to understanding social organisms. While affiliative behaviors are present across a wide range of taxa and contexts, much of what is known about the neuroendocrine regulation of affiliation comes from studies of pair-bond formation in prairie voles. This leaves at least three gaps in our current knowledge. First, little is known about long-term pair-bond maintenance. Second, few studies have examined non-mammalian systems, even though monogamy is much more common in birds than in mammals. Third, the influence of breeding condition on affiliation is largely unknown. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is an excellent model system for examining the neuroendocrine regulation of affiliative behaviors, including the formation and maintenance of a long-term pair bond. Zebra finches form genetically monogamous pair bonds, which they actively maintain throughout the year. The genomic and neuroanatomical resources, combined with the wealth of knowledge on the ecology and ethology of wild zebra finches, give this model system unique advantages to study the neuroendocrine regulation of pair bonding. Here, we review the endocrinology of opportunistic breeding in zebra finches, the sex steroid profiles of breeding and non-breeding zebra finches (domesticated and wild), and the roles of sex steroids and other signaling molecules in pair-maintenance behaviors in the zebra finch and other monogamous species. Studies of zebra finches and other songbirds will be useful for broadly understanding the neuroendocrine regulation of affiliative behaviors, including pair bonding and monogamy. PMID:25935729

  7. Do Termites Avoid Carcasses? Behavioral Responses Depend on the Nature of the Carcasses

    PubMed Central

    Neoh, Kok-Boon; Yeap, Beng-Keok; Tsunoda, Kunio; Yoshimura, Tsuyoshi; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2012-01-01

    Background Undertaking behavior is a significant adaptation to social life in enclosed nests. Workers are known to remove dead colony members from the nest. Such behavior prevents the spread of pathogens that may be detrimental to a colony. To date, little is known about the ethological aspects of how termites deal with carcasses. Methodology and Principal Findings In this study, we tested the responses to carcasses of four species from different subterranean termite taxa: Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Reticulitermes speratus (Kolbe) (lower termites) and Microcerotermes crassus Snyder and Globitermes sulphureus Haviland (higher termites). We also used different types of carcasses (freshly killed, 1-, 3-, and 7-day-old, and oven-killed carcasses) and mutilated nestmates to investigate whether the termites exhibited any behavioral responses that were specific to carcasses in certain conditions. Some behavioral responses were performed specifically on certain types of carcasses or mutilated termites. C. formosanus and R. speratus exhibited the following behaviors: (1) the frequency and time spent in antennating, grooming, and carcass removal of freshly killed, 1-day-old, and oven-killed carcasses were high, but these behaviors decreased as the carcasses aged; (2) the termites repeatedly crawled under the aging carcass piles; and (3) only newly dead termites were consumed as a food source. In contrast, M. crassus and G. sulphureus workers performed relatively few behavioral acts. Our results cast a new light on the previous notion that termites are necrophobic in nature. Conclusion We conclude that the behavioral response towards carcasses depends largely on the nature of the carcasses and termite species, and the response is more complex than was previously thought. Such behavioral responses likely are associated with the threat posed to the colony by the carcasses and the feeding habits and nesting ecology of a given species. PMID:22558452

  8. Assays of homeopathic remedies in rodent behavioural and psychopathological models.

    PubMed

    Bellavite, Paolo; Magnani, Paolo; Marzotto, Marta; Conforti, Anita

    2009-10-01

    The first part of this paper reviews the effects of homeopathic remedies on several models of anxiety-like behaviours developed and described in rodents. The existing literature in this field comprises some fifteen exploratory studies, often published in non-indexed and non-peer-reviewed journals. Only a few results have been confirmed by multiple laboratories, and concern Ignatia, Gelsemium, Chamomilla (in homeopathic dilutions/potencies). Nevertheless, there are some interesting results pointing to the possible efficacy of other remedies, and confirming a statistically significant effect of high dilutions of neurotrophic molecules and antibodies. In the second part of this paper we report some recent results obtained in our laboratory, testing Aconitum, Nux vomica, Belladonna, Argentum nitricum, Tabacum (all 5CH potency) and Gelsemium (5, 7, 9 and 30CH potencies) on mice using ethological models of behaviour. The test was performed using coded drugs and controls in double blind (operations and calculations). After an initial screening that showed all the tested remedies (except for Belladonna) to have some effects on the behavioural parameters (light-dark test and open-field test), but with high experimental variability, we focused our study on Gelsemium, and carried out two complete series of experiments. The results showed that Gelsemium had several effects on the exploratory behaviour of mice, which in some models were highly statistically significant (p < 0.001), in all the dilutions/dynamizations used, but with complex differences according to the experimental conditions and test performed. Finally, some methodological issues of animal research in this field of homeopathy are discussed. The "Gelsemium model" - encompassing experimental studies in vitro and in vivo from different laboratories and with different methods, including significant effects of its major active principle gelsemine - may play a pivotal rule for investigations on other homeopathic

  9. Assessment of disease-related cognitive impairments using the novel object recognition (NOR) task in rodents.

    PubMed

    Grayson, Ben; Leger, Marianne; Piercy, Chloe; Adamson, Lisa; Harte, Michael; Neill, Joanna C

    2015-05-15

    The novel object recognition test (NOR) test is a two trial cognitive paradigm that assesses recognition memory. Recognition memory is disturbed in a range of human disorders and NOR is widely used in rodents for investigating deficits in a variety of animal models of human conditions where cognition is impaired. It possesses several advantages over more complex tasks that involve lengthy training procedures and/or food or water deprivation. It is quick to administer, non-rewarded, provides data quickly, cost effective and most importantly, ethologically relevant as it relies on the animal's natural preference for novelty. A PubMed search revealed over 900 publications in rats and mice using this task over the past 3 years with 34 reviews in the past 10 years, demonstrating its increasing popularity with neuroscientists. Although it is widely used in many disparate areas of research, no articles have systematically examined this to date, which is the subject of our review. We reveal that NOR may be used to study recognition memory deficits that occur in Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, where research is extensive, in Parkinson's disease and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) where we observed markedly reduced numbers of publications. In addition, we review the use of NOR to study cognitive deficits induced by traumatic brain injury and cancer chemotherapy, not disorders per se, but situations in which cognitive deficits dramatically reduce the quality of life for those affected, see Fig. 1 for a summary. Our review reveals that, in all these animal models, the NOR test is extremely useful for identification of the cognitive deficits observed, their neural basis, and for testing the efficacy of novel therapeutic agents. Our conclusion is that NOR is of considerable value for cognitive researchers of all disciplines and we anticipate that its use will continue to increase due to its versatility and several other advantages, as detailed in this review. PMID

  10. The altitudinal mobility of wild sheep at the Epigravettian site of Kalavan 1 (Lesser Caucasus, Armenia): Evidence from a sequential isotopic analysis in tooth enamel.

    PubMed

    Tornero, Carlos; Balasse, Marie; Bălăşescu, Adrian; Chataigner, Christine; Gasparyan, Boris; Montoya, Cyril

    2016-08-01

    Kalavan 1 is an Epigravettian hunting campsite in the Aregunyats mountain chain in northeastern Armenia (Lesser Caucasus). The site lies at an elevation of 1640 m in a bottleneck that controls the descent into the Barepat Valley from the alpine meadows above. The lithic and faunal assemblages show evidence of the production of hunting weapons, the hunting and targeting of wild sheep (Ovis orientalis), and the constitution of animal product reserves. A seasonal occupation of the site was proposed within a model of occupation by Epigravettian hunter-gatherers that involved a search for obsidian resources in high altitude sources from the spring to the summer and settling at Kalavan 1 at the end of summer or during autumn to coincide with the migration of wild herds from the alpine meadows to the valley. A key parameter of this model is wild sheep ethology, with a specifically seasonal vertical mobility, based on observations from contemporary mouflon populations from the surrounding areas. In this study, the vertical mobility of Paleolithic wild sheep was directly investigated through sequential isotope analysis (δ(18)O, δ(13)C) in teeth. A marked seasonality of birth is suggested that reflects a physiological adaptation to the strong environmental constraints of this mountainous region. Most importantly, a recurrent altitudinal mobility was demonstrated on a seasonal basis, which confirms that wild sheep migrated from lowland areas that they occupied in the winter and then moved to higher altitude meadows during the summer. Last, low inter-individual variability in the stable isotope sequences favors a hypothesis of accumulation for these faunal remains over a short time period. Overall, this new dataset strengthens the previous interpretations for Kalavan 1 and contributes to an understanding of the pattern of occupation of mountain territories by Epigravettian communities. PMID:27457543

  11. Marble-burying is enhanced in 3xTg-AD mice, can be reversed by risperidone and it is modulable by handling.

    PubMed

    Torres-Lista, Virginia; López-Pousa, Secundino; Giménez-Llort, Lydia

    2015-07-01

    Translational research on behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) is relevant to the study the neuropsychiatric symptoms that strongly affect the quality of life of the human Alzheimer's disease (AD) patient and caregivers, frequently leading to early institutionalization. Among the ethological behavioural tests for rodents, marble burying is considered to model the spectrum of anxiety, psychotic and obsessive-compulsive like symptoms. The present work was aimed to study the behavioural interactions of 12 month-old male 3xTg-AD mice with small objects using the marble-burying test, as compared to the response elicited in age-matched non-transgenic (NTg) mice. The distinction of the classical 'number of buried marbles' but also those left 'intact' and those 'changed' of position of marbles or partially buried (the transitional level of interaction) provided new insights into the modelling of BPSD-like alterations in this AD model. The analysis revealed genotype differences in the behavioural patterns and predominant behaviors. In the NTg mice, predominance was shown in the 'changed or partially buried', while interactions with marble were enhanced in 3xTg-AD mice resulting in an increase of marble burying. Besides, genotype-dependent meaningful correlations were found, with the marble test pattern of 3xTg-AD mice being directly related to neophobia in the corner tests. In both genotypes, the increase of burying was reversed by chronic treatment with risperidone (1mg/kg, s.c.). In 3xTg-AD mice, the repetitive handling of animals during the treatment also exerted modulatory effects. These distinct patterns further characterize the modelling of BPSD-like symptoms in the 3xTg-AD mice, and provide another behavioural tool to assess the benefits of preventive and/or therapeutic strategies, as well as the potential action of risk factors for AD, in this animal model. PMID:25957954

  12. GPR88 in A2AR Neurons Enhances Anxiety-Like Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Meirsman, Aura Carole; Robé, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Abstract GPR88 is an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor highly expressed in striatal dopamine D1 (receptor) R- and D2R-expressing medium spiny neurons. This receptor is involved in activity and motor responses, and we previously showed that this receptor also regulates anxiety-like behaviors. To determine whether GPR88 in D2R-expressing neurons contributes to this emotional phenotype, we generated conditional Gpr88 knock-out mice using adenosine A2AR (A2AR)-Cre-driven recombination, and compared anxiety-related responses in both total and A2AR-Gpr88 KO mice. A2AR-Gpr88 KO mice showed a selective reduction of Gpr88 mRNA in D2R-expressing, but not D1R-expressing, neurons. These mutant mice showed increased locomotor activity and decreased anxiety-like behaviors in light/dark and elevated plus maze tests. These phenotypes were superimposable on those observed in total Gpr88 KO mice, demonstrating that the previously reported anxiogenic activity of GPR88 operates at the level of A2AR-expressing neurons. Further, A2AR-Gpr88 KO mice showed no change in novelty preference and novelty-suppressed feeding, while these responses were increased and decreased, respectively, in the total Gpr88 KO mice. Also, A2AR-Gpr88 KO mice showed intact fear conditioning, while the fear responses were decreased in total Gpr88 KO. We therefore also show for the first time that GPR88 activity regulates approach behaviors and conditional fear; however, these behaviors do not seem mediated by receptors in A2AR neurons. We conclude that Gpr88 expressed in A2AR neurons enhances ethological anxiety-like behaviors without affecting conflict anxiety and fear responses. PMID:27570825

  13. Innate Fear-Induced Weight Regulation in the C57BL/6J Mouse.

    PubMed

    Genné-Bacon, Elizabeth A; Trinko, Joseph R; DiLeone, Ralph J

    2016-01-01

    Regulation of body weight is an important strategy for small prey animals to avoid capture. Field and laboratory studies have shown that prey animals reduce body size when subjected to long-term predator stimuli. However, the causes of predator-induced weight regulation are highly variable and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Understanding this phenomenon is important for gaining a better understanding of how animals regulate body weight under ethologically relevant conditions and has implications for obesity. Here we expose inbred C57BL/6J mice to a fear-inducing odorant (2,4,5-trimethylthiazole; mT) to model predation-induced weight regulation. Eight week-old mice were put on a 45% high fat diet (HFD) or chow diet (5% fat) and exposed daily to mT, an equally aversive dose of butyric acid (BA), or a neutral control scent (almond). mT-exposed mice in both diet groups gained significantly less weight over a 6-week period than BA-exposed mice. This differential weight gain appears unlikely to be due to differences in food intake and activity level, or brown adipose thermogenesis between the mT and BA groups. However, following chronic mT exposure we find increases in ΔFosB protein, a marker for long-term neural plasticity, in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH)-an area previously implicated in chronic stress and defensive responses, as well as weight regulation. This study establishes a simplified and robust laboratory model of predation-mediated weight regulation with inbred lab mice and fear-inducing odor, and suggests a likely, yet undetermined, metabolic adaptation as contributing to this response. PMID:27458352

  14. Cruelty's rewards: the gratifications of perpetrators and spectators.

    PubMed

    Nell, Victor

    2006-06-01

    Cruelty is the deliberate infliction of physical or psychological pain on other living creatures, sometimes indifferently, but often with delight. Though cruelty is an overwhelming presence in the world, there is no neurobiological or psychological explanation for its ubiquity and reward value. This target article attempts to provide such explanations by describing three stages in the development of cruelty. Stage 1 is the development of the predatory adaptation from the Palaeozoic to the ethology of predation in canids, felids, and primates. Stage 2, through palaeontological and anthropological evidence, traces the emergence of the hunting adaptation in the Pliocene, its development in early hominids, and its emotional loading in surviving forager societies. This adaptation provides an explanation for the powerful emotions - high arousal and strong affect - evoked by the pain-blood-death complex. Stage 3 is the emergence of cruelty about 1.5 million years ago as a hominid behavioural repertoire that promoted fitness through the maintenance of personal and social power. The resulting cultural elaborations of cruelty in war, in sacrificial rites, and as entertainment are examined to show the historical and cross-cultural stability of the uses of cruelty for punishment, amusement, and social control. Effective violence prevention must begin with perpetrators, not victims. If the upstream approaches to violence prevention advocated by the public-health model are to be effective, psychologists must be able to provide violence prevention workers with a fine-grained understanding of perpetrator gratifications. This is a distasteful task that will compel researchers to interact with torturers and abusers, and to acknowledge that their gratifications are rooted in a common human past. It is nonetheless an essential step in developing effective strategies for the primary prevention of violence. PMID:17214016

  15. A Second-Generation Device for Automated Training and Quantitative Behavior Analyses of Molecularly-Tractable Model Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Blackiston, Douglas; Shomrat, Tal; Nicolas, Cindy L.; Granata, Christopher; Levin, Michael

    2010-01-01

    A deep understanding of cognitive processes requires functional, quantitative analyses of the steps leading from genetics and the development of nervous system structure to behavior. Molecularly-tractable model systems such as Xenopus laevis and planaria offer an unprecedented opportunity to dissect the mechanisms determining the complex structure of the brain and CNS. A standardized platform that facilitated quantitative analysis of behavior would make a significant impact on evolutionary ethology, neuropharmacology, and cognitive science. While some animal tracking systems exist, the available systems do not allow automated training (feedback to individual subjects in real time, which is necessary for operant conditioning assays). The lack of standardization in the field, and the numerous technical challenges that face the development of a versatile system with the necessary capabilities, comprise a significant barrier keeping molecular developmental biology labs from integrating behavior analysis endpoints into their pharmacological and genetic perturbations. Here we report the development of a second-generation system that is a highly flexible, powerful machine vision and environmental control platform. In order to enable multidisciplinary studies aimed at understanding the roles of genes in brain function and behavior, and aid other laboratories that do not have the facilities to undergo complex engineering development, we describe the device and the problems that it overcomes. We also present sample data using frog tadpoles and flatworms to illustrate its use. Having solved significant engineering challenges in its construction, the resulting design is a relatively inexpensive instrument of wide relevance for several fields, and will accelerate interdisciplinary discovery in pharmacology, neurobiology, regenerative medicine, and cognitive science. PMID:21179424

  16. [Variability patterns of nest construction, physiological state, and morphometric traits in honey bee].

    PubMed

    2014-01-01

    High variability of cells size is used selectively for reproduction of working bees and drones. A decrease in both distance between cells and cells size themselves causes similar effects to body mass and morphometric traits of developing individuals. Adaptation of honey bees to living in shelters has led to their becoming tolerant to hypoxia. Improvement of ethological and physiological mechanisms of thermal regulation is associated with limitation of ecological valence and acquiring of stenothermic features by breed. Optimal thermal conditions for breed are limited by the interval 33-34.5 degrees C. Deviations of temperature by 3-4 degrees C beyond this range have minimum lethal effect at embryonic stage of development and medium effect at the stage of pre-pupa and pupa. Developing at the low bound of the vital range leads to increasing, while developing at the upper bound--to decreasing of body mass, mandibular and hypopharyngeal glands, as well as other organs, which, later, affects the variability of these traits during the adult stage of development. Eliminative and teratogenic efficiency of ecological factors that affect a breed is most often manifested in underdevelopment of wings. However, their size (in case of wing laminas formation). is characterized by relatively low variability and size-dependent asymmetry. Asymmetry variability of wings and other pair organs is expressed through realignment of size excess from right- to left-side one with respect to their increase. Selective elimination by those traits whose emerging probability increases as developmental conditions deviate from the optimal ones promotes restrictions on individual variability. Physiological mechanisms that facilitate adaptability enhancement under conditions of increasing anthropogenic contamination of eivironment and trophic substrates consumed by honey bees, arrear to be toxicants accumulation in rectum and crops' ability to absorb contaminants from nectar in course of its

  17. [Variability patterns of nest construction, physiological state, and morphometric traits in honey bee].

    PubMed

    Es'kov, E K; Es'kova, M D

    2014-01-01

    High variability of cells size is used selectively for reproduction of working bees and drones. A decrease in both distance between cells and cells size themselves causes similar effects to body mass and morphometric traits of developing individuals. Adaptation of honey bees to living in shelters has led to their becoming tolerant to hypoxia. Improvement of ethological and physiological mechanisms of thermal regulation is associated with limitation of ecological valence and acquiring of stenothermic features by breed. Optimal thermal conditions for breed are limited by the interval 33-34.5 degrees C. Deviations of temperature by 3-4 degrees C beyond this range have minimum lethal effect at embryonic stage of development and medium effect at the stage of pre-pupa and pupa. Developing at the low bound of the vital range leads to increasing, while developing at the upper bound--to decreasing of body mass, mandibular and hypopharyngeal glands, as well as other organs, which, later, affects the variability of these traits during the adult stage of development. Eliminative and teratogenic efficiency of ecological factors that affect a breed is most often manifested in underdevelopment of wings. However, their size (in case of wing laminas formation). is characterized by relatively low variability and size-dependent asymmetry. Asymmetry variability of wings and other pair organs is expressed through realignment of size excess from right- to left-side one with respect to their increase. Selective elimination by those traits whose emerging probability increases as developmental conditions deviate from the optimal ones promotes restrictions on individual variability. Physiological mechanisms that facilitate adaptability enhancement under conditions of increasing anthropogenic contamination of eivironment and trophic substrates consumed by honey bees, arrear to be toxicants accumulation in rectum and crops' ability to absorb contaminants from nectar in course of its

  18. Artificial evolution by viability rather than competition.

    PubMed

    Maesani, Andrea; Fernando, Pradeep Ruben; Floreano, Dario

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary algorithms are widespread heuristic methods inspired by natural evolution to solve difficult problems for which analytical approaches are not suitable. In many domains experimenters are not only interested in discovering optimal solutions, but also in finding the largest number of different solutions satisfying minimal requirements. However, the formulation of an effective performance measure describing these requirements, also known as fitness function, represents a major challenge. The difficulty of combining and weighting multiple problem objectives and constraints of possibly varying nature and scale into a single fitness function often leads to unsatisfactory solutions. Furthermore, selective reproduction of the fittest solutions, which is inspired by competition-based selection in nature, leads to loss of diversity within the evolving population and premature convergence of the algorithm, hindering the discovery of many different solutions. Here we present an alternative abstraction of artificial evolution, which does not require the formulation of a composite fitness function. Inspired from viability theory in dynamical systems, natural evolution and ethology, the proposed method puts emphasis on the elimination of individuals that do not meet a set of changing criteria, which are defined on the problem objectives and constraints. Experimental results show that the proposed method maintains higher diversity in the evolving population and generates more unique solutions when compared to classical competition-based evolutionary algorithms. Our findings suggest that incorporating viability principles into evolutionary algorithms can significantly improve the applicability and effectiveness of evolutionary methods to numerous complex problems of science and engineering, ranging from protein structure prediction to aircraft wing design. PMID:24489790

  19. Empathy: gender effects in brain and behavior.

    PubMed

    Christov-Moore, Leonardo; Simpson, Elizabeth A; Coudé, Gino; Grigaityte, Kristina; Iacoboni, Marco; Ferrari, Pier Francesco

    2014-10-01

    Evidence suggests that there are differences in the capacity for empathy between males and females. However, how deep do these differences go? Stereotypically, females are portrayed as more nurturing and empathetic, while males are portrayed as less emotional and more cognitive. Some authors suggest that observed gender differences might be largely due to cultural expectations about gender roles. However, empathy has both evolutionary and developmental precursors, and can be studied using implicit measures, aspects that can help elucidate the respective roles of culture and biology. This article reviews evidence from ethology, social psychology, economics, and neuroscience to show that there are fundamental differences in implicit measures of empathy, with parallels in development and evolution. Studies in nonhuman animals and younger human populations (infants/children) offer converging evidence that sex differences in empathy have phylogenetic and ontogenetic roots in biology and are not merely cultural byproducts driven by socialization. We review how these differences may have arisen in response to males' and females' different roles throughout evolution. Examinations of the neurobiological underpinnings of empathy reveal important quantitative gender differences in the basic networks involved in affective and cognitive forms of empathy, as well as a qualitative divergence between the sexes in how emotional information is integrated to support decision making processes. Finally, the study of gender differences in empathy can be improved by designing studies with greater statistical power and considering variables implicit in gender (e.g., sexual preference, prenatal hormone exposure). These improvements may also help uncover the nature of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders in which one sex is more vulnerable to compromised social competence associated with impaired empathy. PMID:25236781

  20. How accurate are we at assessing others’ well-being? The example of welfare assessment in horses

    PubMed Central

    Lesimple, Clémence; Hausberger, Martine

    2014-01-01

    Healthcare practitioners such as physicians or nurses often underestimate patients’ well-being impairment (e.g., pain, anxiety) which may lead to undesirable consequences on treatment decisions. Lack of recognition/identification of signals and over-exposure are two reasons invoked, but a combination of factors may be involved. Studying human decoding of animals’ expressions of emotions showed that “identification” to the subject was necessary to decode the other’s internal state. In the present study we wanted to compare caretakers’ reports on the prevalence of stereotypic or abnormal repetitive behaviors, to ethological observations performed by an experienced observer on the same horses in order to test the impact of these different factors. On the first hand, a questionnaire was given hand to hand to the caretakers. On the other hand, the experienced observer spent 18 h observing the horses in each stable. Here we show that caretakers strongly underestimate horses’ expressions of well-being impairment. The caretakers who had a strong concern about their horses’ well-being were also those who reported the more accurately SB/ARB’s prevalence, showing that “identification” to the subject is a primary factor of bad-being signal’s detection. Over-exposure also appeared to be involved as no SB/ARB was reported in stables where most of the horses were performing these abnormal behaviors. Being surrounded by a large population of individuals expressing clear signals of bad-being may change professionals’ perceptions of what are behaviors or expressions of well being. These findings are of primary importance as (1) they illustrate the interest of using human-animal relationships to evaluate humans’ abilities to decode others’ states; (2) they put limitations on questionnaire-based studies of welfare. PMID:24478748

  1. Analysis and application of ichnofabrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Andrew; Goldring, Roland; Gowland, Stuart

    2003-02-01

    Bioturbation at all scales, which tends to replace the primary fabric of a sediment by the ichnofabric (the overall fabric of a sediment that has been bioturbated), is now recognised as playing a major role in facies interpretation. The manner in which the substrate may be colonized, and the physical, chemical and ecological controls (grainsize, sedimentation rate, oxygenation, nutrition, salinity, ethology, community structure and succession), together with the several ways in which the substrate is tiered by bioturbators, are the factors and processes that determine the nature of the ichnofabric. Eleven main styles of substrate tiering are described, ranging from single, pioneer colonization to complex tiering under equilibria, their modification under environmental deterioration and amelioration, and diagenetic enhancement or obscuration. Ichnofabrics may be assessed by four attributes: primary sedimentary factors, Bioturbation Index (BI), burrow size and frequency, and ichnological diversity. Construction of tier and ichnofabric constituent diagrams aid visualization and comparison. The breaks or changes in colonization and style of tiering at key stratal surfaces accentuate the surfaces, and many reflect a major environmental shift of the trace-forming biota due to change in hydrodynamic regime (leading to non-deposition and/or erosion and/or lithification), change in salinity regime, or subaerial exposure. The succession of gradational or abrupt changes in ichnofabric through genetically related successions, together with changes in colonization and tiering across event beds, may also be interpreted in terms of changes in environmental parameters. It is not the ichnotaxa per se that are important in discriminating between ichnofabrics, but rather the environmental conditions that determine the overall style of colonization. Fabrics composed of different ichnotaxa (and different taphonomies) but similar tier structure and ichnoguild may form in similar

  2. A second-generation device for automated training and quantitative behavior analyses of molecularly-tractable model organisms.

    PubMed

    Blackiston, Douglas; Shomrat, Tal; Nicolas, Cindy L; Granata, Christopher; Levin, Michael

    2010-01-01

    A deep understanding of cognitive processes requires functional, quantitative analyses of the steps leading from genetics and the development of nervous system structure to behavior. Molecularly-tractable model systems such as Xenopus laevis and planaria offer an unprecedented opportunity to dissect the mechanisms determining the complex structure of the brain and CNS. A standardized platform that facilitated quantitative analysis of behavior would make a significant impact on evolutionary ethology, neuropharmacology, and cognitive science. While some animal tracking systems exist, the available systems do not allow automated training (feedback to individual subjects in real time, which is necessary for operant conditioning assays). The lack of standardization in the field, and the numerous technical challenges that face the development of a versatile system with the necessary capabilities, comprise a significant barrier keeping molecular developmental biology labs from integrating behavior analysis endpoints into their pharmacological and genetic perturbations. Here we report the development of a second-generation system that is a highly flexible, powerful machine vision and environmental control platform. In order to enable multidisciplinary studies aimed at understanding the roles of genes in brain function and behavior, and aid other laboratories that do not have the facilities to undergo complex engineering development, we describe the device and the problems that it overcomes. We also present sample data using frog tadpoles and flatworms to illustrate its use. Having solved significant engineering challenges in its construction, the resulting design is a relatively inexpensive instrument of wide relevance for several fields, and will accelerate interdisciplinary discovery in pharmacology, neurobiology, regenerative medicine, and cognitive science. PMID:21179424

  3. Oxytocin and social affiliation in humans.

    PubMed

    Feldman, Ruth

    2012-03-01

    A conceptual model detailing the process of bio-behavioral synchrony between the online physiological and behavioral responses of attachment partners during social contact is presented as a theoretical and empirical framework for the study of affiliative bonds. Guided by an ethological behavior-based approach, we suggest that micro-level social behaviors in the gaze, vocal, affective, and touch modalities are dynamically integrated with online physiological processes and hormonal response to create dyad-specific affiliations. Studies across multiple attachments throughout life are presented and demonstrate that the extended oxytocin (OT) system provides the neurohormonal substrate for parental, romantic, and filial attachment in humans; that the three prototypes of affiliation are expressed in similar constellations of social behavior; and that OT is stable over time within individuals, is mutually-influencing among partners, and that mechanisms of cross-generation and inter-couple transmission relate to coordinated social behavior. Research showing links between peripheral and genetic markers of OT with concurrent parenting and memories of parental care; between administration of OT to parent and infant's physiological readiness for social engagement; and between neuropeptides and the online synchrony of maternal and paternal brain response in social-cognitive and empathy networks support the hypothesis that human attachment develops within the matrix of biological attunement and close behavioral synchrony. The findings have conceptual implications for the study of inter-subjectivity as well as translational implications for the treatment of social disorders originating in early childhood, such as autism spectrum disorders, or those associated with disruptions to early bonding, such as postpartum depression or child abuse and neglect. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Social Behavior. PMID:22285934

  4. Reproductive isolation and pollination success of rewarding Galearis diantha and non-rewarding Ponerorchis chusua (Orchidaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hai-Qin; Huang, Bao-Qiang; Yu, Xiao-Hong; Kou, Yong; An, De-Jun; Luo, Yi-Bo; Ge, Song

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Increasing evidence challenges the conventional perception that orchids are the most distinct example of floral diversification due to floral or prezygotic isolation. Regarding the relationship between co-flowering plants, rewarding and non-rewarding orchids in particular, few studies have investigated whether non-rewarding plants affect the pollination success of rewarding plants. Here, floral isolation and mutual effects between the rewarding orchid Galearis diantha and the non-rewarding orchid Ponerorchis chusua were investigated. Methods Flowering phenological traits were monitored by noting the opening and wilting dates of the chosen individual plants. The pollinator pool and pollinator behaviour were assessed from field observations. Key morphological traits of the flowers and pollinators were measured directly in the field. Pollinator limitation and interspecific compatibility were evaluated by hand-pollination experiments. Fruit set was surveyed in monospecific and heterospecific plots. Key Results The species had overlapping peak flowering periods. Pollinators of both species displayed a certain degree of constancy in visiting each species, but they also visited other flowers before landing on the focal orchids. A substantial difference in spur size between the species resulted in the deposition of pollen on different regions of the body of the shared pollinator. Hand-pollination experiments revealed that fruit set was strongly pollinator-limited in both species. No significant difference in fruit set was found between monospecific plots and heterospecific plots. Conclusions A combination of mechanical isolation and incomplete ethological isolation eliminates the possibility of pollen transfer between the species. These results do not support either the facilitation or competition hypothesis regarding the effect of nearby rewarding flowers on non-rewarding plants. The absence of a significant effect of non-rewarding P. chusua on

  5. Optimizing the Distribution of Leg Muscles for Vertical Jumping

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Jeremy D.; Bobbert, Maarten F.; van Soest, Arthur J.; Gribble, Paul L.; Kistemaker, Dinant A.

    2016-01-01

    A goal of biomechanics and motor control is to understand the design of the human musculoskeletal system. Here we investigated human functional morphology by making predictions about the muscle volume distribution that is optimal for a specific motor task. We examined a well-studied and relatively simple human movement, vertical jumping. We investigated how high a human could jump if muscle volume were optimized for jumping, and determined how the optimal parameters improve performance. We used a four-link inverted pendulum model of human vertical jumping actuated by Hill-type muscles, that well-approximates skilled human performance. We optimized muscle volume by allowing the cross-sectional area and muscle fiber optimum length to be changed for each muscle, while maintaining constant total muscle volume. We observed, perhaps surprisingly, that the reference model, based on human anthropometric data, is relatively good for vertical jumping; it achieves 90% of the jump height predicted by a model with muscles designed specifically for jumping. Alteration of cross-sectional areas—which determine the maximum force deliverable by the muscles—constitutes the majority of improvement to jump height. The optimal distribution results in large vastus, gastrocnemius and hamstrings muscles that deliver more work, while producing a kinematic pattern essentially identical to the reference model. Work output is increased by removing muscle from rectus femoris, which cannot do work on the skeleton given its moment arm at the hip and the joint excursions during push-off. The gluteus composes a disproportionate amount of muscle volume and jump height is improved by moving it to other muscles. This approach represents a way to test hypotheses about optimal human functional morphology. Future studies may extend this approach to address other morphological questions in ethological tasks such as locomotion, and feature other sets of parameters such as properties of the skeletal

  6. Interneuronal mechanism for Tinbergen's hierarchical model of behavioral choice.

    PubMed

    Pirger, Zsolt; Crossley, Michael; László, Zita; Naskar, Souvik; Kemenes, György; O'Shea, Michael; Benjamin, Paul R; Kemenes, Ildikó

    2014-09-01

    Recent studies of behavioral choice support the notion that the decision to carry out one behavior rather than another depends on the reconfiguration of shared interneuronal networks [1]. We investigated another decision-making strategy, derived from the classical ethological literature [2, 3], which proposes that behavioral choice depends on competition between autonomous networks. According to this model, behavioral choice depends on inhibitory interactions between incompatible hierarchically organized behaviors. We provide evidence for this by investigating the interneuronal mechanisms mediating behavioral choice between two autonomous circuits that underlie whole-body withdrawal [4, 5] and feeding [6] in the pond snail Lymnaea. Whole-body withdrawal is a defensive reflex that is initiated by tactile contact with predators. As predicted by the hierarchical model, tactile stimuli that evoke whole-body withdrawal responses also inhibit ongoing feeding in the presence of feeding stimuli. By recording neurons from the feeding and withdrawal networks, we found no direct synaptic connections between the interneuronal and motoneuronal elements that generate the two behaviors. Instead, we discovered that behavioral choice depends on the interaction between two unique types of interneurons with asymmetrical synaptic connectivity that allows withdrawal to override feeding. One type of interneuron, the Pleuro-Buccal (PlB), is an extrinsic modulatory neuron of the feeding network that completely inhibits feeding when excited by touch-induced monosynaptic input from the second type of interneuron, Pedal-Dorsal12 (PeD12). PeD12 plays a critical role in behavioral choice by providing a synaptic pathway joining the two behavioral networks that underlies the competitive dominance of whole-body withdrawal over feeding. PMID:25155505

  7. Specialist Osmia bees forage indiscriminately among hybridizing Balsamorhiza floral hosts.

    PubMed

    Cane, James H

    2011-09-01

    Pollinators, even floral generalists (=polyleges), typically specialize during individual foraging bouts, infrequently switching between floral hosts. Such transient floral constancy restricts pollen flow, and thereby gene flow, to conspecific flowers in mixed plant communities. Where incipient flowering species meet, however, weak cross-fertility and often similar floral traits can yield mixed reproductive outcomes among pollinator-dependent species. In these cases, floral constancy by polyleges sometimes serves as an ethological mating barrier. More often, their foraging infidelities instead facilitate host introgression and hybridization. Many other bee species are oligolectic (taxonomic specialists for pollen). Oligoleges could be more discriminating connoisseurs than polyleges when foraging among their limited set of related floral hosts. If true, greater foraging constancy might ensue, contributing to positive assortative mating and disruptive selection, thereby facilitating speciation among their interfertile floral hosts. To test this Connoisseur Hypothesis, nesting females of two species of oligolectic Osmia bees were presented with randomized mixed arrays of flowers of two sympatric species of their pollen host, Balsamorhiza, a genus known for hybridization. In a closely spaced grid, the females of both species preferred the larger flowered B. macrophylla, evidence for discrimination. However, both species' females showed no floral constancy whatsoever during their individual foraging bouts, switching randomly between species proportional to their floral preference. In a wider spaced array in which the bouquets reflected natural plant spacing, foraging oligolectic bees often transferred pollen surrogates (fluorescent powders) both between conspecific flowers (geitonogamy and xenogamy) and between the two Balsamorhiza species. The Connoisseur Hypothesis was therefore rejected. Foraging infidelity by these oligolectic Osmia bees will contribute to

  8. Corticosterone suppresses vasotocin-enhanced clasping behavior in male rough-skinned newts by novel mechanisms interfering with V1a receptor availability and receptor-mediated endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Davis, Audrey; Abraham, Emily; McEvoy, Erin; Sonnenfeld, Sarah; Lewis, Christine; Hubbard, Catherine S; Dolence, E Kurt; Rose, James D; Coddington, Emma

    2015-03-01

    In rough-skinned newts, Taricha granulosa, exposure to an acute stressor results in the rapid release of corticosterone (CORT), which suppresses the ability of vasotocin (VT) to enhance clasping behavior. CORT also suppresses VT-induced spontaneous activity and sensory responsiveness of clasp-controlling neurons in the rostromedial reticular formation (Rf). The cellular mechanisms underlying this interaction remain unclear. We hypothesized that CORT blocks VT-enhanced clasping by interfering with V1a receptor availability and/or VT-induced endocytosis. We administered a physiologically active fluorescent VT conjugated to Oregon Green (VT-OG) to the fourth ventricle 9 min after an intraperitoneal injection of CORT (0, 10, 40 μg/0.1mL amphibian Ringers). The brains were collected 30 min post-VT-OG, fixed, and imaged with confocal microscopy. CORT diminished the number of endocytosed vesicles, percent area containing VT-OG, sum intensity of VT-OG, and the amount of VT-V1a within each vesicle; indicating that CORT was interfering with V1a receptor availability and VT-V1a receptor-mediated endocytosis. CORT actions were brain location-specific and season-dependent in a manner that is consistent with the natural and context-dependent expression of clasping behavior. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the Rf to CORT was much higher in animals during the breeding season, arguing for ethologically appropriate seasonal variation in CORT's ability to prevent VT-induced endocytosis. Our data are consistent with the time course and interaction effects of CORT and VT on clasping behavior and neurophysiology. CORT interference with VT-induced endocytosis may be a common mechanism employed by hormones across taxa for mediating rapid context- and season-specific behavioral responses. PMID:25528549

  9. Primates, Provisioning and Plants: Impacts of Human Cultural Behaviours on Primate Ecological Functions.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Asmita; McConkey, Kim R; Radhakrishna, Sindhu

    2015-01-01

    Human provisioning of wildlife with food is a widespread global practice that occurs in multiple socio-cultural circumstances. Provisioning may indirectly alter ecosystem functioning through changes in the eco-ethology of animals, but few studies have quantified this aspect. Provisioning of primates by humans is known to impact their activity budgets, diets and ranging patterns. Primates are also keystone species in tropical forests through their role as seed dispersers; yet there is no information on how provisioning might affect primate ecological functions. The rhesus macaque is a major human-commensal species but is also an important seed disperser in the wild. In this study, we investigated the potential impacts of provisioning on the role of rhesus macaques as seed dispersers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. We studied a troop of macaques which were provisioned for a part of the year and were dependent on natural resources for the rest. We observed feeding behaviour, seed handling techniques and ranging patterns of the macaques and monitored availability of wild fruits. Irrespective of fruit availability, frugivory and seed dispersal activities decreased when the macaques were provisioned. Provisioned macaques also had shortened daily ranges implying shorter dispersal distances. Finally, during provisioning periods, seeds were deposited on tarmac roads that were unconducive for germination. Provisioning promotes human-primate conflict, as commensal primates are often involved in aggressive encounters with humans over resources, leading to negative consequences for both parties involved. Preventing or curbing provisioning is not an easy task as feeding wild animals is a socio-cultural tradition across much of South and South-East Asia, including India. We recommend the initiation of literacy programmes that educate lay citizens about the ill-effects of provisioning and strongly caution them against the practice. PMID:26536365

  10. Toxic coral gobies reduce the feeding rate of a corallivorous butterflyfish on Acropora corals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dirnwoeber, M.; Herler, J.

    2013-03-01

    The obligate coral-dwelling gobiid genus Gobiodon inhabits Acropora corals and has developed various physiological, morphological and ethological adaptations towards this life habit. While the advantages of this coral-fish association are well documented for Gobiodon, possible fitness-increasing factors for the host coral are unknown. This study examines the influence of coral-dwelling gobies on the feeding behaviour of obligate corallivorous butterflyfishes. In an aquarium experiment using video observation, the corallivorous butterflyfish Chaetodon austriacus fed significantly less on corals inhabited by two Gobiodon species compared to unoccupied coral colonies of similar size. The more agonistic species G. histrio, which mostly displayed directed movements towards butterflyfishes, decreased butterflyfish bite rate by 62-98 % compared to uninhabited colonies. For Gobiodon sp. 3, which mostly displayed undirected movements in response to visits by C. austriacus, bite rate reduction was 64-68 %. The scale-less skin of Gobiodon spp. is covered by mucus that is toxic and multi-functional by reducing predation as well as affecting parasite attachment. A choice flume experiment suggests that the highly diluted skin mucus of Gobiodon spp. also functions as a corallivore repellent. This study demonstrates that Gobiodon spp. exhibit resource defence against coral-feeding butterflyfishes and also that coral colonies without resident Gobiodon suffer higher predation rates. Although the genus Gobiodon is probably a facultative corallivore, this study shows that by reducing predation on inhabited colonies by other fishes, these obligate coral-dwellers either compensate for their own fitness-decreasing impact on host colonies or live in a mutualistic association with them.

  11. Toxic coral gobies reduce the feeding rate of a corallivorous butterflyfish on Acropora corals.

    PubMed

    Dirnwoeber, M; Herler, J

    2013-03-01

    The obligate coral-dwelling gobiid genus Gobiodon inhabits Acropora corals and has developed various physiological, morphological and ethological adaptations towards this life habit. While the advantages of this coral-fish association are well documented for Gobiodon, possible fitness-increasing factors for the host coral are unknown. This study examines the influence of coral-dwelling gobies on the feeding behaviour of obligate corallivorous butterflyfishes. In an aquarium experiment using video observation, the corallivorous butterflyfish Chaetodon austriacus fed significantly less on corals inhabited by two Gobiodon species compared to unoccupied coral colonies of similar size. The more agonistic species G. histrio, which mostly displayed directed movements towards butterflyfishes, decreased butterflyfish bite rate by 62-98 % compared to uninhabited colonies. For Gobiodon sp. 3, which mostly displayed undirected movements in response to visits by C. austriacus, bite rate reduction was 64-68 %. The scale-less skin of Gobiodon spp. is covered by mucus that is toxic and multi-functional by reducing predation as well as affecting parasite attachment. A choice flume experiment suggests that the highly diluted skin mucus of Gobiodon spp. also functions as a corallivore repellent. This study demonstrates that Gobiodon spp. exhibit resource defence against coral-feeding butterflyfishes and also that coral colonies without resident Gobiodon suffer higher predation rates. Although the genus Gobiodon is probably a facultative corallivore, this study shows that by reducing predation on inhabited colonies by other fishes, these obligate coral-dwellers either compensate for their own fitness-decreasing impact on host colonies or live in a mutualistic association with them. PMID:24443641

  12. Innate Fear-Induced Weight Regulation in the C57BL/6J Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Genné-Bacon, Elizabeth A.; Trinko, Joseph R.; DiLeone, Ralph J.

    2016-01-01

    Regulation of body weight is an important strategy for small prey animals to avoid capture. Field and laboratory studies have shown that prey animals reduce body size when subjected to long-term predator stimuli. However, the causes of predator-induced weight regulation are highly variable and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Understanding this phenomenon is important for gaining a better understanding of how animals regulate body weight under ethologically relevant conditions and has implications for obesity. Here we expose inbred C57BL/6J mice to a fear-inducing odorant (2,4,5-trimethylthiazole; mT) to model predation-induced weight regulation. Eight week-old mice were put on a 45% high fat diet (HFD) or chow diet (5% fat) and exposed daily to mT, an equally aversive dose of butyric acid (BA), or a neutral control scent (almond). mT-exposed mice in both diet groups gained significantly less weight over a 6-week period than BA-exposed mice. This differential weight gain appears unlikely to be due to differences in food intake and activity level, or brown adipose thermogenesis between the mT and BA groups. However, following chronic mT exposure we find increases in ΔFosB protein, a marker for long-term neural plasticity, in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH)—an area previously implicated in chronic stress and defensive responses, as well as weight regulation. This study establishes a simplified and robust laboratory model of predation-mediated weight regulation with inbred lab mice and fear-inducing odor, and suggests a likely, yet undetermined, metabolic adaptation as contributing to this response. PMID:27458352

  13. Neurogenetics of Aggressive Behavior – Studies in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Aki; Miczek, Klaus A.

    2014-01-01

    Aggressive behavior is observed in many animal species, such as insects, fish, lizards, frogs, and most mammals including humans. This wide range of conservation underscores the importance of aggressive behavior in the animals’ survival and fitness, and the likely heritability of this behavior. Although typical patterns of aggressive behavior differ between species, there are several concordances in the neurobiology of aggression among rodents, primates, and humans. Studies with rodent models may eventually help us to understand the neurogenetic architecture of aggression in humans. However, it is important to recognize the difference between the ecological and ethological significance of aggressive behavior (species-typical aggression) and maladaptive violence (escalated aggression) when applying the findings of aggression research using animal models to human or veterinary medicine. Well-studied rodent models for aggressive behavior in the laboratory setting include the mouse (Mus musculus), rat (Rattus norvegicus), hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), and prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). The neural circuits of rodent aggression have been gradually elucidated by several techniques e.g. immunohistochemistry of immediate-early gene (c-Fos) expression, intracranial drug microinjection, in vivo microdialysis, and optogenetics techniques. Also, evidence accumulated from the analysis of gene-knockout mice shows the involvement of several genes in aggression. Here we review the brain circuits that have been implicated in aggression, such as the hypothalamus, prefrontal cortex (PFC), dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), nucleus accumbens (NAc), and olfactory system. We then discuss the roles of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), major inhibitory and excitatory amino acids in the brain, as well as their receptors, in controlling aggressive behavior, focusing mainly on recent findings. At the end of this chapter, we discuss how genes can be identified that underlie

  14. Identification of Behaviour in Freely Moving Dogs (Canis familiaris) Using Inertial Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Gerencsér, Linda; Vásárhelyi, Gábor; Nagy, Máté; Vicsek, Tamas; Miklósi, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Monitoring and describing the physical movements and body postures of animals is one of the most fundamental tasks of ethology. The more precise the observations are the more sophisticated the interpretations can be about the biology of a certain individual or species. Animal-borne data loggers have recently contributed much to the collection of motion-data from individuals, however, the problem of translating these measurements to distinct behavioural categories to create an ethogram is not overcome yet. The objective of the present study was to develop a “behaviour tracker”: a system composed of a multiple sensor data-logger device (with a tri-axial accelerometer and a tri-axial gyroscope) and a supervised learning algorithm as means of automated identification of the behaviour of freely moving dogs. We collected parallel sensor measurements and video recordings of each of our subjects (Belgian Malinois, N=12; Labrador Retrievers, N=12) that were guided through a predetermined series of standard activities. Seven behavioural categories (lay, sit, stand, walk, trot, gallop, canter) were pre-defined and each video recording was tagged accordingly. Evaluation of the measurements was performed by support vector machine (SVM) classification. During the analysis we used different combinations of independent measurements for training and validation (belonging to the same or different individuals or using different training data size) to determine the robustness of the application. We reached an overall accuracy of above 90% perfect identification of all the defined seven categories of behaviour when both training and validation data belonged to the same individual, and over 80% perfect recognition rate using a generalized training data set of multiple subjects. Our results indicate that the present method provides a good model for an easily applicable, fast, automatic behaviour classification system that can be trained with arbitrary motion patterns and potentially

  15. Dopamine D4 receptor and anxiety: behavioural profiles of clozapine, L-745,870 and L-741,742 in the mouse plus-maze.

    PubMed

    Cao, B J; Rodgers, R J

    1997-09-24

    The dopamine D4 receptor has been implicated in the therapeutic effects of the atypical antipsychotic, clozapine. As it has been proposed that anxiolytic-like activity may contribute to the efficacy of this agent in ameliorating the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, the current study employed ethological methods to fully characterize the acute behavioural profiles of clozapine and two more selective dopamine D4 receptor antagonists, L-745,870 (3-[{4-(4-chlorophenyl)piperazin-1-yl)]methyl}-1 H-pyrrolo[2,3b]pyridine) and L-741,742 (5-(4-chlorophenyl)-4-methyl-3-(1-(2-phenylethyl)piperidin-4-yl)is oxazole), in the mouse elevated plus-maze test. Results showed that while clozapine (0.3-6.0 mg/kg) dose-dependently inhibited all active behaviours (arm entries, exploration, rearing) and increased grooming and immobility, it failed to alter the major anxiety indices (percent open entries and open time). In contrast, L-745,870 (0.02-1.5 mg/kg) and L-741,742 (0.04-5.0 mg/kg) did not produce any significant behavioural changes under present test conditions. These data, which contrast markedly with the robust anxiolytic profile of the reference compound, chlordiazepoxide (10.0 mg/kg), provide little support for the suggestion that clozapine possesses anxiolytic-like properties and further indicate that selective dopamine D4 receptor antagonists are ineffective in the modulation of anxiety-related behaviours in the plus-maze. PMID:9369363

  16. Coping with an Acute Psychosocial Challenge: Behavioral and Physiological Responses in Young Women

    PubMed Central

    Villada, Carolina; Hidalgo, Vanesa; Almela, Mercedes; Mastorci, Francesca; Sgoifo, Andrea; Salvador, Alicia

    2014-01-01

    Despite the relevance of behavior in understanding individual differences in the strategies used to cope with stressors, behavioral responses and their relationships with psychobiological changes have received little attention. In this study on young women, we aimed at analyzing the associations among different components of the stress response and behavioral coping using a laboratory psychosocial stressor. The Ethological Coding System for Interviews, as well as neuroendocrine, autonomic and mood parameters, were used to measure the stress response in 34 young women (17 free-cycling women in their early follicular phase and 17 oral contraceptive users) subjected to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and a control condition in a crossover design. No significant differences in cardiac autonomic, negative mood and anxiety responses to the stressor were observed between the two groups of women. However, women in the follicular phase showed a higher cortisol response and a larger decrease in positive mood during the social stress episode, as well as greater anxiety overall. Interestingly, the amount of displacement behavior exhibited during the speaking task of the TSST was positively related to anxiety levels preceding the test, but negatively related to baseline and stress response values of heart rate. Moreover, the amount of submissive behavior was negatively related to basal cortisol levels. Finally, eye contact and low-aggressiveness behaviors were associated with a worsening in mood. Overall, these findings emphasize the close relationship between coping behavior and psychobiological reactions, as well as the role of individual variations in the strategy of coping with a psychosocial stressor. PMID:25489730

  17. [Use of the AquaDuc T® round drinker with Pekin ducks under field conditions--behaviour as one indicator of welfare].

    PubMed

    Rauch, Elke; Firnkäs, Nina; Hirsch, Nicola; Damme, Klaus; Schmidt, Paul; Erhard, Michael H; Bergmann, Shana

    2016-01-01

    Pekin ducks have an innate affinity for water. They seek water from the first day of life and use it for a multitude of behaviors. Currently implemented requirements to husbandry and the design of an animal-friendly offer of drinking water in commercial fattening establishments exist neither at EU-level nor in Germany. Aim of the study was to examine the use of the AquaDuc T® (Big Dutchman, Vechta, Germany) and its practical suitability concerning the behavior during the fattening of Pekin ducks under commercial conditions. The examinations took place in three farms (7140-13,515 fattening places). On farm 1 and 3, 16 fattening periods were observed (switch-over design: alternately test and control trial) with each one visited between day 28-32 and 35-39. On farm 2, only ten fattening periods could be examined. The ducks were in general supplied with drinking water via nipple drinkers. For the test trials, the AquaDuc T® drinkers were additionally installed and were accessible for a limited time. To record the natural and undisturbed behavior of the ducks in their housing system, the video recordings were started after we finished the farm visits and in total more than 6300 hours of video material were analyzed. All findings show that Pekin ducks clearly favor the round bell drinkers over the nipple drinkers. They enable the birds to immerse their heads, to drink and strain in a species-specific manner, to take care of the plumage with water and to clean beak and eyes. In the test trials, the drinking activity rose significantly during the operating time of the round drinkers (p < 0.001), whereas the nipple drinkers were used less frequently at the same time. Concerning ethology and health, the round drinkers offer the ducks very good conditions for an animal-friendly water supply. For economic and hygienic reasons, the daily access to the modified round drinkers should be limited. PMID:26904894

  18. Post-traumatic stress disorder: evolutionary perspectives.

    PubMed

    Cantor, Chris

    2009-11-01

    Fear is the key emotion of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fear's evolved function is motivating survival via defensive behaviours. Defensive behaviours have been highly conserved throughout mammalian species; hence much may be learned from ethology. Predation pressure drove the early evolution of defences, laying foundations in the more ancient brain structures. Conspecific (same species) pressure has been a more recent evolutionary influence, but along with environmental threats it has dominated PTSD research. Anti-predator responses involve both avoiding a predator's sensory field and avoiding detection if within it, as well as escape behaviours. More effective avoidance results in less need for escape behaviours, suggesting that avoidance is biologically distinct from flight. Recognizing the predation, environmental and conspecific origins of defence may result in clearer definition of PTSD phenomena. Defence can also be viewed in the stages of no threat, potential threat, encounter and circa strike. Specific defences are used sequentially and according to contexts, loosely in the order: avoidance, attentive immobility, withdrawal, aggressive defence, appeasement and tonic immobility. The DSM-IV criteria and PTSD research show substantial congruence with the model proposed: that PTSD is a disorder of heightened defence involving six key defences used in conjunction with vigilance and risk assessment according to contexts. Human research is reviewed in this respect with reference to laboratory and wild animal observations providing new insights. Understanding individual perceptual issues (e.g. predictability and controllability) relevant to these phenomena, combined with defence strategy recalibration and neuronal plasticity research goes some way to explaining why some traumatized individuals develop PTSD when others do not. PMID:20001399

  19. HDAC I inhibition in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus differentially modulates predator-odor fear learning and generalization

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Robin K.; Hebert, Jenna C.; Thomas, Arthur S.; Wann, Ellen G.; Muzzio, Isabel A.

    2015-01-01

    Although predator odors are ethologically relevant stimuli for rodents, the molecular pathways and contribution of some brain regions involved in predator odor conditioning remain elusive. Inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in the dorsal hippocampus has been shown to enhance shock-induced contextual fear learning, but it is unknown if HDACs have differential effects along the dorso-ventral hippocampal axis during predator odor fear learning. We injected MS-275, a class I HDAC inhibitor, bilaterally in the dorsal or ventral hippocampus of mice and found that it had no effects on innate anxiety in either region. We then assessed the effects of MS-275 at different stages of fear learning along the longitudinal hippocampal axis. Animals were injected with MS-275 or vehicle after context pre-exposure (pre-conditioning injections), when a representation of the context is first formed, or after exposure to coyote urine (post-conditioning injections), when the context becomes associated with predator odor. When MS-275 was administered after context pre-exposure, dorsally injected animals showed enhanced fear in the training context but were able to discriminate it from a neutral environment. Conversely, ventrally injected animals did not display enhanced learning in the training context but generalized the fear response to a neutral context. However, when MS-275 was administered after conditioning, there were no differences between the MS-275 and vehicle control groups in either the dorsal or ventral hippocampus. Surprisingly, all groups displayed generalization to a neutral context, suggesting that predator odor exposure followed by a mild stressor such as restraint leads to fear generalization. These results may elucidate distinct functions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in predator odor-induced fear conditioning as well as some of the molecular mechanisms underlying fear generalization. PMID:26441495

  20. Toward a definition of generalized anxiety disorder as an anxious temperament type.

    PubMed

    Akiskal, H S

    1998-01-01

    Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is defined as an uncontrollable disposition to worry about one's welfare and that of one's immediate kin. Associated manifestations include arousal, vigilance, tension, irritability, unrestful sleep and gastrointestinal distress. There is growing evidence for the lifelong nature of this condition among many of its sufferers. This and other evidence reviewed in the present paper provide further support for the thesis that the chronic disposition to worry should probably be classified under constitutional or trait anxiety. GAD is best considered an exaggeration of a normal personality disposition that can be named 'Generalized anxious temperament' (GAT). Despite some overlap with anxious-phobic, inhibited and avoidant-sensitive temperaments, GAT seems to have a distinct profile with altruistic overtones; on the other hand, GAT is less easily distinguished from harm-avoidant and obsessive traits. That worrying would increase upon relaxation is not a paradox at all, and is understandable in an ethological perspective as subserving the defensive function of being vigilant of ever present yet uncertain external dangers--to oneself and one's kin--in day-to-day living. GAT can thus be considered as 'altruistic anxiety', subserving hypothetically the survival of one's extended phenotype in a 'kin selection' paradigm. Only when extreme does worrying manifest in a clinical context, impairing one's interpersonal life and functioning at work, and increasing use of general health care resources. Furthermore, generalized anxiety appears to predispose to and is often associated with depression, and a spectrum of phobic disorders, as well as alcohol and sedative use. These considerations place GAD (and the putative GAT) in the limelight and underscore the need for more research into its fundamental characteristics. Towards this aim, a self-rated GAT measure under development in our center is provided in an appendix to this paper. PMID:9777050

  1. Tonganoxichnus, a new insect trace from the Upper Carboniferous of eastern Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mangano, M.G.; Buatois, L.A.; Maples, C.G.; Lanier, Wendy E.

    1997-01-01

    Upper Carboniferous tidal rhythmites of the Tonganoxie Sandstone Member (Stranger Formation) at Buildex Quarry, eastern Kansas, USA, host a relatively diverse arthropod-dominated ichnofauna. Bilaterally symmetrical traces displaying unique anterior and posterior sets of morphological features are well represented within the assemblage. A new ichnogenus, Tonganoxichnus, is proposed for these traces. T. buildexensis, the type ichnospecies, has an anterior region characterized by the presence of a frontal pair of maxillary palp impressions, followed by a head impression and three pairs of conspicuous thoracic appendage imprints symmetrically opposite along a median axis. The posterior region commonly exhibits numerous delicate chevron-like markings, recording the abdominal appendages, and a thin, straight, terminal extension. T. buildexensis is interpreted as a resting trace. A second ichnospecies, T. ottawensis, is characterized by a fan-like arrangement of mostly bifid scratch marks at the anterior area that records the head- and thoracic-appendage backstrokes against the substrate. The posterior area shows chevron-like markings or small subcircular impressions that record the abdominal appendages of the animal, also ending in a thin, straight, terminal extension. Specimens display lateral repetition, and are commonly grouped into twos or threes with a fix point at the posteriormost tail-like structure. T. ottawensis is interpreted as a jumping structure, probably in connection with feeding purposes. The two ichnospecies occur in close association, and share sufficient morphologic features to support the same type of arthropod producer. T. buildexensis closely mimics the ventral anatomy of the tracemaker, whereas T. ottawensis records the jumping abilities of the animal providing significant ethologic and paleoecologic information. The presence of well-differentiated cephalic, thoracic, and abdominal features, particularly in T. buildexensis, resembles the

  2. Genetic correlation of SOCS3 polymorphisms with infantile asthma: an evidence based on a case-control study

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Ying; Ren, Xiaoxia; Feng, Zhanwei

    2015-01-01

    Objective: In order to explore the relevance of SOCS3 gene polymorphisms with infantile asthma and provide evidence for the ethology of infantile asthma, we conducted this case-control study. Methods: A total of 273 children were enrolled for study in this article, including 119 children with asthma and 154 healthy controls frequency-matched with the former in sex and age. The genotyping of SOCS3 rs4969170, rs4969168 polymorphisms in all subjects were performed using TaqMan probe method. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to represent the association strength between SOCS3 polymorphisms and infantile asthma and calculated by χ² test which was conducted to check the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) in the control group. Results: The genotypes distributions of SOCS3 polymorphisms in controls conformed to HWE. Compared with GG/GA genotype in SOCS3 rs4969170, AA genotype obviously increased the susceptibility to asthma in children (OR=2.556, 95% CI=1.377-4.744) and A allele also made the same conclusion (OR=2.287, 95% CI=1.311-3.991). Differently in rs4969168, AG and AG/GG genotypes distributions had significant differences in two groups (P=0.036, 0.043). This two polymorphisms existed the linkage disequilibrium and the haplotype analysis showed that A-G and A-A haplotypes in rs4969170-rs4969168 increased 1.855 and 0.863 times risk of asthma development in children, respectively. Conclusions: A significant relevance involved in SOCS3 gene polymorphisms and infantile asthma development based on a Chinese Han population. PMID:26464723

  3. In Bonobos Yawn Contagion Is Higher among Kin and Friends

    PubMed Central

    Demuru, Elisa; Palagi, Elisabetta

    2012-01-01

    In humans, the distribution of yawn contagion is shaped by social closeness with strongly bonded pairs showing higher levels of contagion than weakly bonded pairs. This ethological finding led the authors to hypothesize that the phenomenon of yawn contagion may be the result of certain empathic abilities, although in their most basal form. Here, for the first time, we show the capacity of bonobos (Pan paniscus) to respond to yawns of conspecifics. Bonobos spontaneously yawned more frequently during resting/relaxing compared to social tension periods. The results show that yawn contagion was context independent suggesting that the probability of yawning after observing others' yawns is not affected by the propensity to engage in spontaneous yawns. As it occurs in humans, in bonobos the yawing response mostly occurred within the first minute after the perception of the stimulus. Finally, via a Linear Mixed Model we tested the effect of different variables (e.g., sex, rank, relationship quality) on yawn contagion, which increased when subjects were strongly bonded and when the triggering subject was a female. The importance of social bonding in shaping yawn contagion in bonobos, as it occurs in humans, is consistent with the hypothesis that empathy may play a role in the modulation of this phenomenon in both species. The higher frequency of yawn contagion in presence of a female as a triggering subject supports the hypothesis that adult females not only represent the relational and decisional nucleus of the bonobo society, but also that they play a key role in affecting the emotional states of others. PMID:23166729

  4. Display of individuality in avoidance behavior and risk assessment of inbred mice

    PubMed Central

    Hager, Torben; Jansen, René F.; Pieneman, Anton W.; Manivannan, Suriya N.; Golani, Ilan; van der Sluis, Sophie; Smit, August B.; Verhage, Matthijs; Stiedl, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Factors determining individuality are still poorly understood. Rodents are excellent model organisms to study individuality, due to a rich behavioral repertoire and the availability of well-characterized isogenic populations. However, most current behavioral assays for rodents have short test duration in novel test environments and require human interference, which introduce coercion, thereby limiting the assessment of naturally occurring individuality. Thus, we developed an automated behavior system to longitudinally monitor conditioned fear for assessing PTSD-like behavior in individual mice. The system consists of a safe home compartment connected to a risk-prone test compartment (TC). Entry and exploration of the TC is solely based on deliberate choice determined by individual fear responsiveness and fear extinction. In this novel ethological assay, C57BL/6J mice show homogeneous responses after shock exposure (innate fear), but striking variation in long-lasting fear responses based on avoidance and risk assessment (learned fear), including automated stretch-attend posture quantification. TC entry (retention) latencies after foot shock differed >24 h and the re-explored TC area differed >50% among inbred mice. Next, we compared two closely related C57BL/6 substrains. Despite substantial individual differences, previously observed higher fear of C57BL/6N vs. C57BL/6J mice was reconfirmed, whereas fear extinction was fast and did not differ. The observed variation in fear expression in isogenic mice suggests individual differences in coping style with PTSD-like avoidance. Investigating the assumed epigenetic mechanisms, with reduced interpretational ambiguity and enhanced translational value in this assay, may help improve understanding of personality type-dependent susceptibility and resilience to neuropsychiatric disorders such as PTSD. PMID:25278853

  5. Comparison of Burrowing and Stimuli-Evoked Pain Behaviors as End-Points in Rat Models of Inflammatory Pain and Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Muralidharan, Arjun; Kuo, Andy; Jacob, Meera; Lourdesamy, Jacintha S.; Carvalho, Lara Melo Soares Pinho De; Nicholson, Janet R.; Corradini, Laura; Smith, Maree T.

    2016-01-01

    Establishment and validation of ethologically-relevant, non-evoked behavioral end-points as surrogate measures of spontaneous pain in rodent pain models has been proposed as a means to improve preclinical to clinical research translation in the pain field. Here, we compared the utility of burrowing behavior with hypersensitivity to applied mechanical stimuli for pain assessment in rat models of chronic inflammatory and peripheral neuropathic pain. Briefly, groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats were habituated to the burrowing environment and trained over a 5-day period. Rats that burrowed ≤ 450 g of gravel on any 2 days of the individual training phase were excluded from the study. The remaining rats received either a unilateral intraplantar injection of Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA) or saline, or underwent unilateral chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve- or sham-surgery. Baseline burrowing behavior and evoked pain behaviors were assessed prior to model induction, and twice-weekly until study completion on day 14. For FCA- and CCI-rats, but not the corresponding groups of sham-rats, evoked mechanical hypersensitivity developed in a temporal manner in the ipsilateral hindpaws. Although burrowing behavior also decreased in a temporal manner for both FCA-and CCI- rats, there was considerable inter-animal variability. By contrast, mechanical hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia in the ipsilateral hindpaws of FCA- and CCI-rats respectively, exhibited minimal inter-animal variability. Our data collectively show that burrowing behavior is altered in rodent models of chronic inflammatory pain and peripheral neuropathic pain. However, large group sizes are needed to ensure studies are adequately powered due to considerable inter-animal variability. PMID:27242458

  6. Do displacement activities help preschool children to inhibit a forbidden action?

    PubMed

    Pecora, Giulia; Addessi, Elsa; Schino, Gabriele; Bellagamba, Francesca

    2014-10-01

    Displacement activities are commonly recognized as behavioral patterns, mostly including self-directed actions (e.g., scratching, self-touching), that often occur in situations involving conflicting motivational tendencies. In ethology, several researchers have suggested that displacement activities could facilitate individuals in dealing with the stress experienced in a frustrating context. In child developmental research, some authors have assessed whether distraction strategies could help children to inhibit a dominant response during delay of gratification tasks. However, little is known about the displacement activities that young children may produce in such situations. This study was aimed at investigating whether displacement activities had an effect on preschool children's ability to postpone an immediate gratification (i.e., interacting with an attractive toy, a musical box), thereby functioning as regulators of their emotional state. To this end, we administered 143 2- to 4-year-olds with a delay maintenance task and related their performance with displacement activities they produced during the task and with actions with an external object. Children's latency to touch the musical box was positively related to their rate of displacement activities. However, the rate of displacement activities increased progressively as long as the children were able to inhibit the interaction with the musical box. In addition, the rate of displacement activities during the first 1 min of test did not predict the ability of children to inhibit the interaction with the box. These results suggest that displacement activities represented a functionless by-product of motivational conflict rather than a strategy that children used to inhibit their response to an attractive stimulus. PMID:24907630

  7. Visible-NIR Spectroscopic Evidence for the Composition of Low-Albedo Altered Soils on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murchie, S.; Merenyi, E.; Singer, R.; Kirkland, L.

    1996-03-01

    Spectroscopic studies of altered Martian soils at visible and at NIR wavelengths have generally supported the canonical model of the surface layer as consisting mostly of 2 components, bright red hematite-containing dust and dark gray pyroxene-containing sand. However several of the studies have also provided tantalizing evidence for distinct 1 micrometer Fe absorptions in discrete areas, particularly dark red soils which are hypothesized to consist of duricrust. These distinct absorptions have been proposed to originate from one or more non-hematitic ferric phases. We have tested this hypothesis by merging high spatial resolution visible- and NIR-wavelength data to synthesize composite 0.44-3.14 1lm spectra for regions of western Arabia and Margaritifer Terra. The extended wavelength coverage allows more complete assessment of ferric, ferrous, and H2O absorptions in both wavelength ranges. The composite data show that, compared to nearby bright red soil in Arabia, dark red soil in Oxia has a lower albedo, a more negative continuum slope, and a stronger 3 micrometer H2O absorption . However Fe absorptions are closely similar in position and depth. These results suggest that at least some dark red soils may differ from "normal" dust and mafic sand more in texture than in Fe mineralogy, although there appears to be enrichment in a water-containing phase and/or a dark, spectrally neutral phase. In contrast, there is clear evidence for enrichment of a low-albedo ferric mineral in dark gray soils composing Sinus Meridiani. These have visible- and NIR-wavelength absorptions consistent with crystalline hematite with relatively little pyroxene, plus a very weak 3 micrometer H2O absorption. These properties suggest a Ethology richer in crystalline hematite and less hydrated than both dust and mafic-rich sand.

  8. The Mechanism for Forming Martian Rampart Craters: Clues from Crater Morphometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craddock, R. A.; Chuang, F.

    1996-03-01

    Many large craters on the martian surface have ejecta blankets that terminate with a pronounced lobate ridge. These rampart craters represent features unique to Mars, and their morphology suggests that their ejecta was emplaced as a highly mobile fluid instead of ballistically. High velocity experiments into mud have duplicated many of the common morphologic characteristics of rampart craters supporting this hypothesis. However, additional experiments performed at a variety of atmospheric pressures have also been able to duplicate aspects of rampart crater morphology These results suggest that rampart craters form as the result of a low pressure atmosphere. Obviously the presence of ice or water would have an effect on the target properties (i.e., material strength) of the martian substrate, which should also influence the overall crater morphometry, thus allowing us to test these competing hypotheses. In this study we used the photoclinometric algorithm developed by Davis and Soderblom and written for the Planetary Image Cartography System to determined the shape of over 300 fresh lunar-like or rampart impact craters at a variety of diameters (3 to 80 km). Because it is probable that Ethology would also effect the strength of the target material, we confined our study to craters formed in the dissected unit of the Highland Plateau (Npld) as defined by the 1:15M-scale geologic mappers and interpretable to the scale of our images. In addition we confined our study to +30 degrees to omit variations in crater morphology seen at higher latitudes. The images used were radiometrically-calibrated (red and minus-blue filter), moderate resolution (~200 m/pixel) obtained by the Viking orbiters. Our initial results show that there is a slight difference in morphometric relations between fresh lunar-like and rampart craters, supporting the hypothesis that the unique morphology of rampart crater ejecta results from the incorporation of volatile materials contained in the target

  9. Anxiolytic activity of pyridoindole derivatives SMe1EC2 and SMe1M2: behavioral analysis using rat model

    PubMed Central

    Sedláčková, Natália; Ponechalová, Veronika; Ujházy, Eduard; Dubovický, Michal; Mach, Mojmír

    2011-01-01

    Anxiety and mood disorders have become very significant affections in the last decades. According to WHO at least one mental disease occurred per year in 27% of EU inhabitants (more than 82 mil. people). It is estimated that by 2020, depression will be the main cause of morbidity in the developed countries. These circumstances call for research for new prospective drugs with anxiolytic and antidepressive properties exhibiting no toxicity and withdrawal effect and possessing beneficial properties, like antioxidant and/or neuroprotective effects. The aim of this study was to obtain information about psychopharmacological properties of pyridoindole derivatives SMe1EC2 and SMe1M2, using non-invasive behavioral methods in rats. The battery of ethological tests (open field, elevated plus-maze, light/dark box exploration, forced swim test) was used to obtain information about anxiolytic and antidepressant activity of the pyridoindole derivatives. The substances were administered intraperitoneally 30 minutes before the tests at doses of 1, 10 and 25 mg/kg. In the behavioral tests, SMe1EC2 was found to exert anxiolytic activity in elevated plus maze with no affection of locomotor activity. The highest dose of SMe1M2 increased the time spent in the lit part of the Light/Dark box, however this result was influenced by inhibition of motor activity of the rats. Similar findings were observed also in elevated plus-maze, although these results were not statistically significant. In conclusion, from the results of our study it is evident that both pyridoindoles acted on the CNS. In the highest dose, SMe1M2 was found to possess rather sedative than anxiolytic or antidepressant activity. PMID:22319256

  10. Independent development of the Reach and the Grasp in spontaneous self-touching by human infants in the first 6 months

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Brittany L.; Karl, Jenni M.; Whishaw, Ian Q.

    2015-01-01

    The Dual Visuomotor Channel Theory proposes that visually guided reaching is a composite of two movements, a Reach that advances the hand to contact the target and a Grasp that shapes the digits for target purchase. The theory is supported by biometric analyses of adult reaching, evolutionary contrasts, and differential developmental patterns for the Reach and the Grasp in visually guided reaching in human infants. The present ethological study asked whether there is evidence for a dissociated development for the Reach and the Grasp in nonvisual hand use in very early infancy. The study documents a rich array of spontaneous self-touching behavior in infants during the first 6 months of life and subjected the Reach movements to an analysis in relation to body target, contact type, and Grasp. Video recordings were made of resting alert infants biweekly from birth to 6 months. In younger infants, self-touching targets included the head and trunk. As infants aged, targets became more caudal and included the hips, then legs, and eventually the feet. In younger infants hand contact was mainly made with the dorsum of the hand, but as infants aged, contacts included palmar contacts and eventually grasp and manipulation contacts with the body and clothes. The relative incidence of caudal contacts and palmar contacts increased concurrently and were significantly correlated throughout the period of study. Developmental increases in self-grasping contacts occurred a few weeks after the increase in caudal and palmar contacts. The behavioral and temporal pattern of these spontaneous self-touching movements suggest that the Reach, in which the hand extends to make a palmar self-contact, and the Grasp, in which the digits close and make manipulatory movements, have partially independent developmental profiles. The results additionally suggest that self-touching behavior is an important developmental phase that allows the coordination of the Reach and the Grasp prior to and

  11. The causes of variation in learning and behavior: why individual differences matter

    PubMed Central

    Sauce, Bruno; Matzel, Louis D.

    2013-01-01

    In a seminal paper written five decades ago, Cronbach discussed the two highly distinct approaches to scientific psychology: experimental and correlational. Today, although these two approaches are fruitfully implemented and embraced across some fields of psychology, this synergy is largely absent from other areas, such as in the study of learning and behavior. Both Tolman and Hull, in a rare case of agreement, stated that the correlational approach held little promise for the understanding of behavior. Interestingly, this dismissal of the study of individual differences was absent in the biologically oriented branches of behavior analysis, namely, behavioral genetics and ethology. Here we propose that the distinction between “causation” and “causes of variation” (with its origins in the field of genetics) reveals the potential value of the correlational approach in understanding the full complexity of learning and behavior. Although the experimental approach can illuminate the causal variables that modulate learning, the analysis of individual differences can elucidate how much and in which way variables interact to support variations in learning in complex natural environments. For example, understanding that a past experience with a stimulus influences its “associability” provides little insight into how individual predispositions interact to modulate this influence on associability. In this “new” light, we discuss examples from studies of individual differences in animals’ performance in the Morris water maze and from our own work on individual differences in general intelligence in mice. These studies illustrate that, opposed to what Underwood famously suggested, studies of individual differences can do much more to psychology than merely providing preliminary indications of cause-effect relationships. PMID:23847569

  12. Long-lasting, selective, anxiogenic effects of feline predator stress in mice.

    PubMed

    Adamec, Robert; Walling, Sue; Burton, Paul

    2004-12-15

    Lasting increases in anxiety-like behavior (ALB) are produced by brief exposure of rats to a cat [Adamec RE, Shallow T, Lasting effects on rodent anxiety of a single exposure to a cat, Physiol. Behav., 54 (1993) 101-109.]. Mice also respond defensively to natural predator stimuli. Moreover, chronic exposure of mice to rat odor has immediate anxiogenic effects in plus maze and lasting (7 days) and effects on acoustic startle. The present study examined the lasting (7 days) after effects on ALB of a brief unprotected exposure of male CFW mice to a cat. Lasting effects on ALB of exposure to the cat exposure room were also assessed. Effects on behavior were studied in the hole board and elevated plus-maze (EPM). An ethological analysis of behavior revealed that risk assessment in the EPM was increased the most in predator-stressed mice. Mice exposed to the cat exposure room showed increased risk assessment falling between controls and cat exposed mice. Behavior in the hole board was unaffected, as were most other behaviors in the plus maze. Factor analysis revealed independence of risk assessment from other measures of ALB, activity and exploration, consistent with findings in rats. Aspects of the stress experience were highly predictive of later response to the cat. Cat biting and pawing, mouse fleeing and mouse weight measured at the time of cat exposure together accounted for 71% of the variance of risk assessment in cat exposed mice. The significance of these findings for vulnerability to cat predator stress of mice and for the use of predator stress in mice as a model of aspects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are discussed. PMID:15581662

  13. What's wrong with my mouse cage? Methodological considerations for modeling lifestyle factors and gene-environment interactions in mice.

    PubMed

    Mo, Christina; Renoir, Thibault; Hannan, Anthony J

    2016-05-30

    The mechanistic understanding of lifestyle contributions to disease has been largely driven by work in laboratory rodent models using environmental interventions. These interventions show an array of methodologies and sometimes unclear collective conclusions, hampering clinical interpretations. Here we discuss environmental enrichment, exercise and stress interventions to illustrate how different protocols can affect the interpretations of environmental factors in disease. We use Huntington's disease (HD) as an example because its mouse models exhibit excellent validity and HD was the first genetic animal model in which environmental stimulation was found to be beneficial. We make a number of observations and recommendations. Firstly, environmental enrichment and voluntary exercise generally show benefits across laboratories and mouse models. However, the extent to which these environmental interventions have beneficial effects depends on parameters such as the structural complexity of the cage in the case of enrichment, the timing of the intervention and the nature of the control conditions. In particular, clinical interpretations should consider deprived control living conditions and the ethological relevance of the enrichment. Secondly, stress can have negative effects on the phenotype in mouse models of HD and other brain disorders. When modeling stress, the effects of more than one type of experimental stressor should be investigated due to the heterogeneity and complexity of stress responses. With stress in particular, but ideally in all studies, both sexes should be used and the randomized group sizes need to be sufficiently powered to detect any sex effects. Opportunities for clinical translation will be guided by the 'environmental construct validity' of the preclinical data, including the culmination of complementary protocols across multiple animal models. Environmental interventions in mouse models of HD provide illustrative examples of how valid

  14. GPR88 in A2AR Neurons Enhances Anxiety-Like Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Meirsman, Aura Carole; Robé, Anne; de Kerchove d'Exaerde, Alban; Kieffer, Brigitte Lina

    2016-01-01

    GPR88 is an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor highly expressed in striatal dopamine D1 (receptor) R- and D2R-expressing medium spiny neurons. This receptor is involved in activity and motor responses, and we previously showed that this receptor also regulates anxiety-like behaviors. To determine whether GPR88 in D2R-expressing neurons contributes to this emotional phenotype, we generated conditional Gpr88 knock-out mice using adenosine A2AR (A2AR)-Cre-driven recombination, and compared anxiety-related responses in both total and A2AR-Gpr88 KO mice. A2AR-Gpr88 KO mice showed a selective reduction of Gpr88 mRNA in D2R-expressing, but not D1R-expressing, neurons. These mutant mice showed increased locomotor activity and decreased anxiety-like behaviors in light/dark and elevated plus maze tests. These phenotypes were superimposable on those observed in total Gpr88 KO mice, demonstrating that the previously reported anxiogenic activity of GPR88 operates at the level of A2AR-expressing neurons. Further, A2AR-Gpr88 KO mice showed no change in novelty preference and novelty-suppressed feeding, while these responses were increased and decreased, respectively, in the total Gpr88 KO mice. Also, A2AR-Gpr88 KO mice showed intact fear conditioning, while the fear responses were decreased in total Gpr88 KO. We therefore also show for the first time that GPR88 activity regulates approach behaviors and conditional fear; however, these behaviors do not seem mediated by receptors in A2AR neurons. We conclude that Gpr88 expressed in A2AR neurons enhances ethological anxiety-like behaviors without affecting conflict anxiety and fear responses. PMID:27570825

  15. Optimizing the Distribution of Leg Muscles for Vertical Jumping.

    PubMed

    Wong, Jeremy D; Bobbert, Maarten F; van Soest, Arthur J; Gribble, Paul L; Kistemaker, Dinant A

    2016-01-01

    A goal of biomechanics and motor control is to understand the design of the human musculoskeletal system. Here we investigated human functional morphology by making predictions about the muscle volume distribution that is optimal for a specific motor task. We examined a well-studied and relatively simple human movement, vertical jumping. We investigated how high a human could jump if muscle volume were optimized for jumping, and determined how the optimal parameters improve performance. We used a four-link inverted pendulum model of human vertical jumping actuated by Hill-type muscles, that well-approximates skilled human performance. We optimized muscle volume by allowing the cross-sectional area and muscle fiber optimum length to be changed for each muscle, while maintaining constant total muscle volume. We observed, perhaps surprisingly, that the reference model, based on human anthropometric data, is relatively good for vertical jumping; it achieves 90% of the jump height predicted by a model with muscles designed specifically for jumping. Alteration of cross-sectional areas-which determine the maximum force deliverable by the muscles-constitutes the majority of improvement to jump height. The optimal distribution results in large vastus, gastrocnemius and hamstrings muscles that deliver more work, while producing a kinematic pattern essentially identical to the reference model. Work output is increased by removing muscle from rectus femoris, which cannot do work on the skeleton given its moment arm at the hip and the joint excursions during push-off. The gluteus composes a disproportionate amount of muscle volume and jump height is improved by moving it to other muscles. This approach represents a way to test hypotheses about optimal human functional morphology. Future studies may extend this approach to address other morphological questions in ethological tasks such as locomotion, and feature other sets of parameters such as properties of the skeletal

  16. [The Great Ape Project--human rights for the great anthropoid apes].

    PubMed

    Scharmann, W

    2000-01-01

    The Great Ape Project (GAP) is an appeal of 36 scientist from different disciplines aiming at the legal equalisation of the non-human great apes (chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans) with man. The appeal is expressed by a number of essays stating zoological, genetical, ethological, anthropological, ethical and psychological knowledge and, based on these arguments, demanding the abolition of the species barrier between human beings and great apes. The central point of the initiative is the "Declaration on Great Apes", claiming the inclusion of great apes in the "community of equals" and thus securing three basic rights for all great apes: 1. The Right of Life; 2. The Protection of Individual Liberty; 3. The Prohibition of Torture. Not only experiments with great apes and their capture from the wilderness will be banned, but it is also intended to enfranchise as many great apes as possible from research laboratories and zoos. As a legal basis for the achievement of basic rights most of the authors plead for the idea of conferring the moral status of "persons" on great apes. Criticism of the GAP is due to its anthropocentrism. Rejection is especially expressed by advocates of pathocentric ethics who argue that the species barrier will not be abolished but only shifted, running then between the great apes and the remaining living beings. However, the GAP resulted in a greater retention in the use of great apes for experiments in several industrial countries. Additionally, the popular literature published by ethologists in the passed decades has supported a more responsible attitude of the public towards primates. Despite of all efforts the survival of the great apes is greatly endangered within their native countries. PMID:11178555

  17. Avoidance and contextual learning induced by a kairomone, a pheromone and a common odorant in female CD1 mice

    PubMed Central

    Fortes-Marco, Lluís; Lanuza, Enrique; Martínez-García, Fernando; Agustín-Pavón, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    establish the ethological significance of odorants. PMID:26500474

  18. The microbiota-gut-brain axis: neurobehavioral correlates, health and sociality

    PubMed Central

    Montiel-Castro, Augusto J.; González-Cervantes, Rina M.; Bravo-Ruiseco, Gabriela; Pacheco-López, Gustavo

    2013-01-01

    Recent data suggest that the human body is not such a neatly self-sufficient island after all. It is more like a super-complex ecosystem containing trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that inhabit all our surfaces; skin, mouth, sexual organs, and specially intestines. It has recently become evident that such microbiota, specifically within the gut, can greatly influence many physiological parameters, including cognitive functions, such as learning, memory and decision making processes. Human microbiota is a diverse and dynamic ecosystem, which has evolved in a mutualistic relationship with its host. Ontogenetically, it is vertically inoculated from the mother during birth, established during the first year of life and during lifespan, horizontally transferred among relatives, mates or close community members. This micro-ecosystem serves the host by protecting it against pathogens, metabolizing complex lipids and polysaccharides that otherwise would be inaccessible nutrients, neutralizing drugs and carcinogens, modulating intestinal motility, and making visceral perception possible. It is now evident that the bidirectional signaling between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain, mainly through the vagus nerve, the so called “microbiota–gut–vagus–brain axis,” is vital for maintaining homeostasis and it may be also involved in the etiology of several metabolic and mental dysfunctions/disorders. Here we review evidence on the ability of the gut microbiota to communicate with the brain and thus modulate behavior, and also elaborate on the ethological and cultural strategies of human and non-human primates to select, transfer and eliminate microorganisms for selecting the commensal profile. PMID:24109440

  19. SCORHE: A novel and practical approach to video monitoring of laboratory mice housed in vivarium cage racks

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, John U.; Krynitsky, Jonathan; Garmendia-Cedillos, Marcial; Swaroop, Kanchan; Malley, James D.; Pajevic, Sinisa; Abuhatzira, Liron; Bustin, Michael; Gillet, Jean-Pierre; Gottesman, Michael M.; Mitchell, James B.; Pohida, Thomas J.

    2015-01-01

    The System for Continuous Observation of Rodents in Home-cage Environment (SCORHE) was developed to demonstrate the viability of compact and scalable designs for quantifying activity levels and behavior patterns for mice housed within a commercial ventilated cage rack. The SCORHE in-rack design provides day- and night-time monitoring with the consistency and convenience of the home-cage environment. The dual-video camera custom hardware design makes efficient use of space, does not require home-cage modification, and is animal-facility user-friendly. Given the system’s low cost and suitability for use in existing vivariums without modification to the animal husbandry procedures or housing setup, SCORHE opens up the potential for the wider use of automated video monitoring in animal facilities. SCORHE’s potential uses include day-to-day health monitoring, as well as advanced behavioral screening and ethology experiments, ranging from the assessment of the short- and long-term effects of experimental cancer treatments to the evaluation of mouse models. When used for phenotyping and animal model studies, SCORHE aims to eliminate the concerns often associated with many mouse-monitoring methods, such as circadian rhythm disruption, acclimation periods, lack of night-time measurements, and short monitoring periods. Custom software integrates two video streams to extract several mouse activity and behavior measures. Studies comparing the activity levels of ABCB5 knockout and HMGN1 overexpresser mice with their respective C57BL parental strains demonstrate SCORHE’s efficacy in characterizing the activity profiles for singly- and doubly-housed mice. Another study was conducted to demonstrate the ability of SCORHE to detect a change in activity resulting from administering a sedative. PMID:24706080

  20. The chimpanzee nest quantified: morphology and ecology of arboreal sleeping platforms within the dry habitat site of Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Uganda.

    PubMed

    Samson, David R

    2012-10-01

    The nightly construction of a sleeping platform (SP) or "nest" is widely regarded as a universal behavior among great apes, yet SP structural morphology has been incompletely quantified to date. This is in part due to the inherent difficulties of gathering empirical data on arboreally sited SPs. I gathered quantitative structural data on SPs (n = 65) at the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve from May to June 2008 and from August 2010 to January 2011. I measured SP length (semi-major axis length), width (semi-minor axis length), radii (length from the surface center to the rim edge 45° from the axis), depth (width of the concavity from the surface center to the parallel rim), and thickness (ventral center to the dorsal underside of the SP). SP complexity was defined with a scored index. SP complexity was found to be correlated with SP circumference, surface area, mass, proportion of soft leafy material to hard woody material, number of frame support branches used in its construction, and other measures that are argued to index "comfort." In addition, the height of the tree canopy above the SP was negatively correlated with SP complexity. Greater complexity (and therefore stability) is argued to maintain SP integrity, stability and restraint in the face of greater wind speeds, thereby reducing the probability of falls. Given the observation that males site SPs lower than females (Fruth and Hohmann, Ethology 94:113-126, 1994; Brownlow et al., Am J Primatol 55:49-55, 2001), and that SP diameters were greater for SPs sited low in the canopy at Semliki, it is inferred that more massive males benefit from lower climbing expenses and greater stability. These data support Baldwin and colleagues' (Primates 22:474-486, 1981) hypothesis that the principal advantage of SPs over open-branch sleeping sites is the greater stability required by large-bodied great apes. PMID:22555951

  1. Canonical phylogenetic ordination.

    PubMed

    Giannini, Norberto P

    2003-10-01

    A phylogenetic comparative method is proposed for estimating historical effects on comparative data using the partitions that compose a cladogram, i.e., its monophyletic groups. Two basic matrices, Y and X, are defined in the context of an ordinary linear model. Y contains the comparative data measured over t taxa. X consists of an initial tree matrix that contains all the xj monophyletic groups (each coded separately as a binary indicator variable) of the phylogenetic tree available for those taxa. The method seeks to define the subset of groups, i.e., a reduced tree matrix, that best explains the patterns in Y. This definition is accomplished via regression or canonical ordination (depending on the dimensionality of Y) coupled with Monte Carlo permutations. It is argued here that unrestricted permutations (i.e., under an equiprobable model) are valid for testing this specific kind of groupwise hypothesis. Phylogeny is either partialled out or, more properly, incorporated into the analysis in the form of component variation. Direct extensions allow for testing ecomorphological data controlled by phylogeny in a variation partitioning approach. Currently available statistical techniques make this method applicable under most univariate/multivariate models and metrics; two-way phylogenetic effects can be estimated as well. The simplest case (univariate Y), tested with simulations, yielded acceptable type I error rates. Applications presented include examples from evolutionary ethology, ecology, and ecomorphology. Results showed that the new technique detected previously overlooked variation clearly associated with phylogeny and that many phylogenetic effects on comparative data may occur at particular groups rather than across the entire tree. PMID:14530135

  2. The serotonin transporter genotype is associated with intermediate brain phenotypes that depend on the context of eliciting stressor

    PubMed Central

    Kalin, NH; Shelton, SE; Fox, AS; Rogers, J; Oakes, TR; Davidson, RJ

    2009-01-01

    A variant allele in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene, SLC6A4, the s allele, is associated with increased vulnerability to develop anxiety-related traits and depression. Furthermore, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies reveal that s carriers have increased amygdala reactivity in response to aversive stimuli, which is thought to be an intermediate phenotype mediating the influences of the s allele on emotionality. We used high-resolution microPET [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) scanning to assess regional brain metabolic activity in rhesus monkeys to further explore s allele-related intermediate phenotypes. Rhesus monkeys provide an excellent model to understand mechanisms underlying human anxiety, and FDG microPET allows for the assessment of brain activity associated with naturalistic environments outside the scanner. During FDG uptake, monkeys were exposed to different ethologically relevant stressful situations (relocation and threat) as well as to the less stressful familiar environment of their home cage. The s carriers displayed increased orbitofrontal cortex activity in response to both relocation and threat. However, during relocation they displayed increased amygdala reactivity and in response to threat they displayed increased reactivity of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. No increase in the activity of any of these regions occurred when the animals were administered FDG in their home cages. These findings demonstrate context-dependent intermediate phenotypes in s carriers that provide a framework for understanding the mechanisms underlying the vulnerabilities of s-allele carriers exposed to different types of stressors. PMID:18414408

  3. Differential Effects of Dopamine Receptor D1-Type and D2-Type Antagonists and Phase of the Estrous Cycle on Social Learning of Food Preferences, Feeding, and Social Interactions in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Choleris, Elena; Clipperton-Allen, Amy E; Gray, Durene G; Diaz-Gonzalez, Sebastian; Welsman, Robert G

    2011-01-01

    The neurobiological bases of social learning, by which an animal can ‘exploit the expertise of others' and avoid the disadvantages of individual learning, are only partially understood. We examined the involvement of the dopaminergic system in social learning by administering a dopamine D1-type receptor antagonist, SCH23390 (0.01, 0.05, and 0.1 mg/kg), or a D2-type receptor antagonist, raclopride (0.1, 0.3, and 0.6 mg/kg), to adult female mice prior to socially learning a food preference. We found that while SCH23390 dose-dependently inhibited social learning without affecting feeding behavior or the ability of mice to discriminate between differently flavored diets, raclopride had the opposite effects, inhibiting feeding but leaving social learning unaffected. We showed that food odor, alone or in a social context, was insufficient to induce a food preference, proving the specifically social nature of this paradigm. The estrous cycle also affected social learning, with mice in proestrus expressing the socially acquired food preference longer than estrous and diestrous mice. This suggests gonadal hormone involvement, which is consistent with known estrogenic regulation of female social behavior and estrogen receptor involvement in social learning. Furthermore, a detailed ethological analysis of the social interactions during which social learning occurs showed raclopride- and estrous phase-induced changes in agonistic behavior, which were not directly related to effects on social learning. Overall, these results suggest a differential involvement of the D1-type and D2-type receptors in the regulation of social learning, feeding, and agonistic behaviors that are likely mediated by different underlying states. PMID:21525863

  4. Effects of maternal exposure to social stress during pregnancy: consequences for mother and offspring.

    PubMed

    Brunton, Paula J

    2013-01-01

    A suboptimal in utero environment, for example, as a result of maternal stress, can have detrimental effects on the pregnancy and long-term adverse 'programming' effects on the offspring. This article focuses on the effects of prenatal social stress on the mother, her pregnancy and the offspring, since these issues have ethological relevance in both animals and humans. The consequences of social stress exposure depend on when during pregnancy the stress occurs, and many of the effects on the offspring are sex specific. Social stress during early pregnancy tends to result in pregnancy loss, whereas stress exposure later in pregnancy, when the mother has already invested considerable resources in the foetuses, results in programmed offspring of low birth weight: a risk factor for various adulthood diseases. Neuroendocrine and behavioural responses to stress in the offspring are particularly sensitive to foetal programming by prenatal stress, indicated by enhanced hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses and increased anxiety behaviour, which result from permanent changes in the offspring's brain. The dysregulation of HPA axis function may also interfere with other systems, for example, the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, as there is evidence for alterations in steroidogenesis, reproductive potential and impaired reproductive/social behaviours in prenatally stressed offspring. Prenatal social stress also programmes future maternal behaviour, highlighting the potential for negative phenotypes to be transmitted to future generations. The possible mechanisms through which maternal stress during pregnancy is transmitted to the foetuses and the foetal brain is programmed by prenatal stress and the potential to overwrite programming of the offspring are discussed. PMID:23901130

  5. Translational approaches to obsessive-compulsive disorder: from animal models to clinical treatment

    PubMed Central

    Fineberg, NA; Chamberlain, SR; Hollander, E; Boulougouris, V; Robbins, TW

    2011-01-01

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by obsessions (intrusive thoughts) and compulsions (repetitive ritualistic behaviours) leading to functional impairment. Accumulating evidence links these conditions with underlying dysregulation of fronto-striatal circuitry and monoamine systems. These abnormalities represent key targets for existing and novel treatment interventions. However, the brain bases of these conditions and treatment mechanisms are still not fully elucidated. Animal models simulating the behavioural and clinical manifestations of the disorder show great potential for augmenting our understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of OCD. This paper provides an overview of what is known about OCD from several perspectives. We begin by describing the clinical features of OCD and the criteria used to assess the validity of animal models of symptomatology; namely, face validity (phenomenological similarity between inducing conditions and specific symptoms of the human phenomenon), predictive validity (similarity in response to treatment) and construct validity (similarity in underlying physiological or psychological mechanisms). We then survey animal models of OC spectrum conditions within this framework, focusing on (i) ethological models; (ii) genetic and pharmacological models; and (iii) neurobehavioural models. We also discuss their advantages and shortcomings in relation to their capacity to identify potentially efficacious new compounds. It is of interest that there has been rather little evidence of ‘false alarms’ for therapeutic drug effects in OCD models which actually fail in the clinic. While it is more difficult to model obsessive cognition than compulsive behaviour in experimental animals, it is feasible to infer cognitive inflexibility in certain animal paradigms. Finally, key future neurobiological and treatment research areas are highlighted. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed issue on Translational

  6. Antennal phenotype of Mexican haplogroups of the Triatoma dimidiata complex, vectors of Chagas disease.

    PubMed

    May-Concha, Irving; Guerenstein, Pablo G; Ramsey, Janine M; Rojas, Julio C; Catalá, Silvia

    2016-06-01

    Triatoma dimidiata (Latreille) is a species complex that spans North, Central, and South America and which is a key vector of all known discrete typing units (DTU) of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. Morphological and genetic studies indicate that T. dimidiata is a species complex with three principal haplogroups (hg) in Mexico. Different markers and traits are still inconclusive regarding if other morphological differentiation may indicate probable behavioral and vectorial divergences within this complex. In this paper we compared the antennae of three Mexican haplogroups (previously verified by molecular markers ND4 and ITS-2) and discussed possible relationships with their capacity to disperse and colonized new habitats. The abundance of each type of sensillum (bristles, basiconics, thick- and thin-walled trichoids) on the antennae of the three haplogroups, were measured under light microscopy and compared using Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric and multivariate non-parametric analyses. Discriminant analyses indicate significant differences among the antennal phenotype of haplogroups either for adults and some nymphal stages, indicating consistency of the character to analyze intraspecific variability within the complex. The present study shows that the adult antennal pedicel of the T. dimidiata complex have abundant chemosensory sensilla, according with good capacity for dispersal and invasion of different habitats also related to their high capacity to adapt to conserved as well as modified habitats. However, the numerical differences among the haplogroups are suggesting variations in that capacity. The results here presented support the evidence of T. dimidiata as a species complex but show females and males in a different way. Given the close link between the bug's sensory system and its habitat and host-seeking behavior, AP characterization could be useful to complement genetic, neurological and ethological studies of the closely

  7. Development of a New Method to Track Multiple Honey Bees with Complex Behaviors on a Flat Laboratory Arena

    PubMed Central

    Kimura, Toshifumi; Ohashi, Mizue; Crailsheim, Karl; Schmickl, Thomas; Okada, Ryuichi; Radspieler, Gerald; Ikeno, Hidetoshi

    2014-01-01

    A computer program that tracks animal behavior, thereby revealing various features and mechanisms of social animals, is a powerful tool in ethological research. Because honeybee colonies are populated by thousands of bees, individuals co-exist in high physical densities and are difficult to track unless specifically tagged, which can affect behavior. In addition, honeybees react to light and recordings must be made under special red-light conditions, which the eyes of bees perceive as darkness. The resulting video images are scarcely distinguishable. We have developed a new algorithm, K-Track, for tracking numerous bees in a flat laboratory arena. Our program implements three main processes: (A) The object (bee's) region is detected by simple threshold processing on gray scale images, (B) Individuals are identified by size, shape and spatiotemporal positional changes, and (C) Centers of mass of identified individuals are connected through all movie frames to yield individual behavioral trajectories. The tracking performance of our software was evaluated on movies of mobile multi-artificial agents and of 16 bees walking around a circular arena. K-Track accurately traced the trajectories of both artificial agents and bees. In the latter case, K-track outperformed Ctrax, well-known software for tracking multiple animals. To investigate interaction events in detail, we manually identified five interaction categories; ‘crossing’, ‘touching’, ‘passing’, ‘overlapping’ and ‘waiting’, and examined the extent to which the models accurately identified these categories from bee's interactions. All 7 identified failures occurred near a wall at the outer edge of the arena. Finally, K-Track and Ctrax successfully tracked 77 and 60 of 84 recorded interactive events, respectively. K-Track identified multiple bees on a flat surface and tracked their speed changes and encounters with other bees, with good performance. PMID:24465422

  8. Asymmetrical Stimulus Generalization following Differential Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Bang, Sun Jung; Allen, Timothy A.; Jones, Lauren K.; Boguszewski, Pawel; Brown, Thomas H.

    2008-01-01

    Rodent ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) are ethologically critical social signals. Rats emit 22 kHz USVs and 50 kHz USVs, respectively, in conjunction with negative and positive affective states. Little is known about what controls emotional reactivity to these social signals. Using male Sprague-Dawley rats, we examined unconditional and conditional freezing behavior in response to the following auditory stimuli: three 22 kHz USVs, a discontinuous tone whose frequency and on-off pattern matched one of the USVs, a continuous tone with the same or lower frequencies, a 4 kHz discontinuous tone with an on-off pattern matched to one of the USVs, and a 50 kHz USV. There were no differences among these stimuli in terms of the unconditional elicitation of freezing behavior. Thus, the stimuli were equally neutral before conditioning. During differential fear conditioning, one of these stimuli (the CS+) always co-terminated with a footshock unconditional stimulus (US) and another stimulus (the CS−) was explicitly unpaired with the US. There were no significant differences among these cues in CS+-elicited freezing behavior. Thus, the stimuli were equally salient or effective as cues in supporting fear conditioning. When the CS+ was a 22 kHz USV or a similar stimulus, rats discriminated based on the principal frequency and/or the temporal pattern of the stimulus. However, when these same stimuli served as the CS−, discrimination failed due to generalization from the CS+. Thus, the stimuli differed markedly in the specificity of conditioning. This strikingly asymmetrical stimulus generalization is a novel bias in discrimination. PMID:18434217

  9. Darwin's legacy and the study of primate visual communication.

    PubMed

    de Waal, Frans B M

    2003-12-01

    After Charles Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, published in 1872, we had to wait 60 years before the theme of animal expressions was picked up by another astute observer. In 1935, Nadezhda Ladygina-Kohts published a detailed comparison of the expressive behavior of a juvenile chimpanzee and of her own child. After Kohts, we had to wait until the 1960s for modern ethological analyses of primate facial and gestural communication. Again, the focus was on the chimpanzee, but ethograms on other primates appeared as well. Our understanding of the range of expressions in other primates is at present far more advanced than that in Darwin's time. A strong social component has been added: instead of focusing on the expressions per se, they are now often classified according to the social situations in which they typically occur. Initially, quantitative analyses were sequential (i.e., concerned with temporal associations between behavior patterns), and they avoided the language of emotions. I will discuss some of this early work, including my own on the communicative repertoire of the bonobo, a close relative of the chimpanzee (and ourselves). I will provide concrete examples to make the point that there is a much richer matrix of contexts possible than the common behavioral categories of aggression, sex, fear, play, and so on. Primate signaling is a form of negotiation, and previous classifications have ignored the specifics of what animals try to achieve with their exchanges. There is also increasing evidence for signal conventionalization in primates, especially the apes, in both captivity and the field. This process results in group-specific or "cultural" communication patterns. PMID:14766618

  10. Sex differences in behavior and striatal ascorbate release in the 140 CAG knock-in mouse model of Huntington’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Dorner, Jenelle L.; Miller, Benjamin R.; Barton, Scott J.; Brock, Tyler J.; Rebec, George V.

    2007-01-01

    Ethological assessment of murine models of Huntington’s disease (HD), an inherited neurodegenerative disorder, enables correlation between phenotype and pathophysiology. Currently, the most characterized model is the R6/2 line that develops a progressive behavioral and neurological phenotype by six weeks of age. A recently developed knock-in model with 140 CAG repeats (KI) exhibits a subtle phenotype with a longer progressive course, more typical of adult-onset HD in humans. We evaluated rotarod performance, open-field behavior, and motor activity across the diurnal cycle in KI mice during early to mid-adulthood. Although we did not observe any effects of age, relative to wild-type (WT) mice, KI mice showed significant deficits in both open-field climbing behavior and home-cage running wheel activity during the light phase of the diurnal cycle. An interesting sex difference also emerged. KI females spent more time in the open-field grooming and more time running during the diurnal dark phase than KI males and WT mice of both sexes. In striatum, the primary site of HD pathology, we measured behavior-related changes in extracellular ascorbate (AA), which is abnormally low in the R6/2 line, consistent with a loss of antioxidant protection in HD. KI males exhibited a 20–40% decrease in striatal AA from anesthesia baseline to behavioral activation that was not observed in other groups. Collectively, our results indicate behavioral deficits in KI mice that may be specific to the diurnal cycle. Furthermore, sex differences observed in behavior and striatal AA release suggest sex-dependent variation in the phenotype and neuropathology of HD. PMID:17239451

  11. Ethopharmacological evaluation of the rat exposure test: a prey-predator interaction test.

    PubMed

    Campos, Kelciane Ferreira Caetano; Amaral, Vanessa Cristiane Santana; Rico, Javier Leonardo; Miguel, Tarciso Tadeu; Nunes-de-Souza, Ricardo Luiz

    2013-03-01

    The rat exposure test (RET) is a prey (mouse)-predator (rat) situation that activates brain defensive areas and elicits hormonal and defensive behavior in the mouse. Here, we investigated possible correlations between the spatiotemporal [time spent in protected (home chamber and tunnel) and unprotected (surface) compartments and frequency of entries into the three compartments] and ethological [e.g., duration of protected and unprotected stretched-attend postures (SAP), duration of contact with the rat's compartment] measures (Experiment 1). Secondly, we investigated the effects of systemic treatment with pro- or anti-aversive drugs on the behavior that emerged from the factor analysis (Experiment 2). The effects of chronic (21 days) imipramine and fluoxetine on defensive behavior were also investigated (Experiment 3). Exp. 1 revealed that the time in the protected compartment, protected SAP and rat contacts loaded on factor 1 (defensive behavior), while the total entries and unprotected SAP loaded on factor 2 (locomotor activity). Exp. 2 showed that alprazolam (but not diazepam) selectively changed the defensive factor. Caffeine produced a mild proaversive-like effect, whereas yohimbine only decreased locomotor activity (total entries). Fluoxetine (but not imipramine) produced a weak proaversive-like effect. 5-HT(1A)/5-HT(2) receptor ligands did not change any behavioral measure. In Exp. 3, chronic fluoxetine (but not imipramine) attenuated the defensive behavior factor without changing locomotion. Given that the defensive factor was sensitive to drugs known to attenuate (alprazolam and chronic fluoxetine) and induce (caffeine) panic attack, we suggest the RET as a useful test to assess the effects of panicolytic and panicogenic drugs. PMID:23195112

  12. The role of DNA methylation on Octopus vulgaris development and their perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Díaz-Freije, Eva; Gestal, Camino; Castellanos-Martínez, Sheila; Morán, Paloma

    2014-01-01

    DNA methylation is a common regulator of gene expression and development in mammalian and other vertebrate genomes. DNA methylation has been studied so far in a few bivalve mollusk species, finding a wide spectrum of levels. We focused our study in the common octopus, Octopus vulgaris, an important organism for neuroscience, physiology and ethology research as well as for human consumption. We aim to confirm the existence of DNA methylation in O. vulgaris and ultimately, if methylation plays a role in gene regulation during octopus development. We used a genome-wide approach, methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP), firstly in four different tissues from the same specimens from adult benthonic individuals to test whether gene expression is regulated by methylation. Secondly, we tested the hypothesis that methylation underlies development by assessing MSAP patters from paralarvae to adult developmental stages. Our data indicate that octopus genome is widely methylated since clear differences can be observed, and the methylation pattern changes with the development. The statistical analyses showed significant differences in methylation pattern between paralarvae, where higher internal cytosine methylation is observed, and the three other post-hatching stages. This suggests an important role of cytosine methylation during the first step of development, when major morphological changes take place. However, methylation seems to have little effect on gene expression during the benthonic phase, since no significant effect was revealed in the analyses of molecular variance (AMOVA) performed. Our observations highlight the importance of epigenetic mechanisms in the first developmental steps of the common octopus and opens new perspectives to overcome high mortality rate during paralarvae growth. Thus, better understanding the molecular regulation patterns could lead to new approaches that increase the efficiency of husbandry of this emergent species for

  13. Adaptive shaping of cortical response selectivity in the vibrissa pathway

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, He J. V.; Wang, Qi

    2015-01-01

    One embodiment of context-dependent sensory processing is bottom-up adaptation, where persistent stimuli decrease neuronal firing rate over hundreds of milliseconds. Adaptation is not, however, simply the fatigue of the sensory pathway, but shapes the information flow and selectivity to stimulus features. Adaptation enhances spatial discriminability (distinguishing stimulus location) while degrading detectability (reporting presence of the stimulus), for both the ideal observer of the cortex and awake, behaving animals. However, how the dynamics of the adaptation shape the cortical response and this detection and discrimination tradeoff is unknown, as is to what degree this phenomenon occurs on a continuum as opposed to a switching of processing modes. Using voltage-sensitive dye imaging in anesthetized rats to capture the temporal and spatial characteristics of the cortical response to tactile inputs, we showed that the suppression of the cortical response, in both magnitude and spatial spread, is continuously modulated by the increasing amount of energy in the adapting stimulus, which is nonuniquely determined by its frequency and velocity. Single-trial ideal observer analysis demonstrated a tradeoff between detectability and spatial discriminability up to a moderate amount of adaptation, which corresponds to the frequency range in natural whisking. This was accompanied by a decrease in both detectability and discriminability with high-energy adaptation, which indicates a more complex coupling between detection and discrimination than a simple switching of modes. Taken together, the results suggest that adaptation operates on a continuum and modulates the tradeoff between detectability and discriminability that has implications for information processing in ethological contexts. PMID:25787959

  14. Activation but not blockade of GABAB receptors during early-life alters anxiety in adulthood in BALB/c mice.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, Fabian F; O'Leary, Olivia F; Cryan, John F

    2014-06-01

    Although the underlying pathophysiology of anxiety disorders is unknown it is clear that a combination of genetic and environmental factors in early life predispose to disease risk. Preclinical research increasingly suggests an important role for the GABAB receptor in modulating anxiety behaviour, with GABAB receptor deficient mice having increased anxiety behaviour. Previous studies have highlighted critical windows during development where adult anxiety behaviour is primed. However, little is known regarding the role played by the GABAB receptors in the developmental processes that underlie adult anxiety behaviour. To this end, we treated male BALB/c mouse pups with the either the selective GABAB receptor agonist, R-baclofen (2 mg/kg, s.c), the GABAB receptor antagonist CGP 52432 (10 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg) or vehicle from postnatal days (P) 14-28. The anxiety behaviour of these mice was then assessed in adulthood (P62 onwards) in a battery of behavioural tests comprising; the stress induced hyperthermia (SIH) test, defensive marble burying (DMB), elevated-plus maze (EPM) and the forced swim test (FST). Postnatal R-baclofen treatment resulted in increased anxiety-like behaviour in the EPM as shown by approach-avoidance and ethological measures. Other behavioural measures were not significantly altered. Interestingly, blockade of GABAB receptors with CGP52432 in early life caused no alterations in emotional behaviour. These data suggest that during early life GABAB receptor signalling can play a functional role in programing anxiety behaviour in adulthood. The underlying neurodevelopmental processes underlying these effects remain to be discovered. PMID:24050962

  15. Direct comparisons of hand and mouth kinematics during grasping, feeding and fork-feeding actions

    PubMed Central

    Quinlan, D. J.; Culham, J. C.

    2015-01-01

    While a plethora of studies have examined the kinematics of human reach-to-grasp actions, few have investigated feeding, another ethologically important real-world action. Two seminal studies concluded that the kinematics of the mouth during feeding are comparable to those of the hand during grasping (Castiello, 1997; Churchill et al., 1999); however, feeding was done with a fork or spoon, not with the hand itself. Here, we directly compared grasping and feeding kinematics under equivalent conditions. Participants were presented with differently sized cubes of cheese (10-, 20- or 30-mm on each side) and asked to use the hand to grasp them or to use a fork to spear them and then bring them to the mouth to bite. We measured the apertures of the hand during grasping and the teeth during feeding, as well as reaching kinematics of the arm in both tasks. As in many past studies, we found that the hand oversized considerably larger (~11–27 mm) than the food item during grasping; moreover, the amount of oversizing scaled with food size. Surprisingly, regardless of whether the hand or fork was used to transport the food, the mouth oversized only slightly larger (~4–11 mm) than the food item during biting and the oversizing did not increase with food size. Total movement times were longer when using the fork compared to the hand, particularly when using the fork to bring food to the mouth. While reach velocity always peaked approximately halfway through the movement, relative to the reach the mouth opened more slowly than the hand, perhaps because less time was required for the smaller oversizing. Taken together, our results show that while many aspects of kinematics share some similarity between grasping and feeding, oversizing may reflect strategies unique to the hand vs. mouth (such as the need to have the digits approach the target surface perpendicularly for grip stability during lifting) and differences in the neural substrates of grasping and feeding. PMID

  16. Distinct contributions of frontal areas to emotion and social behaviour in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Rudebeck, Peter H; Walton, Mark E; Millette, Benjamin H P; Shirley, Elizabeth; Rushworth, Matthew F S; Bannerman, David M

    2007-01-01

    Although the lesions of patients with impaired social behaviour encompass both orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortex (OFC and ACC), attempts to model such impairments in animals have focused on the OFC. However, recent neuroimaging attempts to identify the neural correlates of social interaction have emphasized the relative importance of ACC. Here we report the effect of circumscribed excitotoxic lesions of either OFC or ACC on ethological, unconditioned tests of emotion and social behaviour in the Lister hooded rat. OFC lesions altered emotional responsiveness to stimuli in non-social, fear-inducing situations (hyponeophagia test), and produced a small but statistically significant increase in aggression to other rats, but did not compromise other aspects of social interaction and appraisal. ACC lesions did, however, affect the utilization of social information. Specifically, ACC lesions diminished interest in other individuals and caused a relative reduction in memory for social stimuli. Whereas normal animals habituated to repeated presentations of the same individual, the poor performance of ACC animals entailed continued higher levels of responsiveness to repeated presentations of the same individual. The ACC impairment cannot simply be attributed to a general reduction in arousal, or a general impairment in recognition memory. Neither lesion affected anxiety per se (successive alleys test). Further analyses were conducted to investigate whether the changes in aggressive and social behaviour were related to different aspects of decision-making. Although the relationship between changes in social interaction and decision-making after ACC lesions is unclear, OFC impairments in emotionality were correlated with increased impulsive choice. PMID:17927774

  17. How accurate are we at assessing others' well-being? The example of welfare assessment in horses.

    PubMed

    Lesimple, Clémence; Hausberger, Martine

    2014-01-01

    Healthcare practitioners such as physicians or nurses often underestimate patients' well-being impairment (e.g., pain, anxiety) which may lead to undesirable consequences on treatment decisions. Lack of recognition/identification of signals and over-exposure are two reasons invoked, but a combination of factors may be involved. Studying human decoding of animals' expressions of emotions showed that "identification" to the subject was necessary to decode the other's internal state. In the present study we wanted to compare caretakers' reports on the prevalence of stereotypic or abnormal repetitive behaviors, to ethological observations performed by an experienced observer on the same horses in order to test the impact of these different factors. On the first hand, a questionnaire was given hand to hand to the caretakers. On the other hand, the experienced observer spent 18 h observing the horses in each stable. Here we show that caretakers strongly underestimate horses' expressions of well-being impairment. The caretakers who had a strong concern about their horses' well-being were also those who reported the more accurately SB/ARB's prevalence, showing that "identification" to the subject is a primary factor of bad-being signal's detection. Over-exposure also appeared to be involved as no SB/ARB was reported in stables where most of the horses were performing these abnormal behaviors. Being surrounded by a large population of individuals expressing clear signals of bad-being may change professionals' perceptions of what are behaviors or expressions of well being. These findings are of primary importance as (1) they illustrate the interest of using human-animal relationships to evaluate humans' abilities to decode others' states; (2) they put limitations on questionnaire-based studies of welfare. PMID:24478748

  18. [Planimetric measurement of floor space covered by pullets].

    PubMed

    Spindler, Birgit; Clauss, Marcus; Briese, Andreas; Hartung, Jörg

    2013-01-01

    The available floor space has a strong impact on the execution of various behaviours of laying hens. Presently, in Germany detailed requirements on the housing of pullets are insufficient. In order to get a first approximation, the floor space covered by pullets was determined by the colour contrast planimetric method KobaPlan. The measurements on standing and sitting pullets were done on a random sample of Lohmann Brown (LB), Lohmann Tradition (LT), Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL) and Dekalb White (DW) hybrids from the 6th week of life to 18/20 weeks at regular intervals. The hens were weighed and photographed digitally in a specific planimetric box (n = 2600 photographs from pullets in standing and 1360 in sitting position). Afterwards the KobaPlan software program calculated the animal area.The results showed a correlation between floor space covered by the pullets in standing position and the live weight (R2 = 0.80-0.96). The mean floor space covered by LB and LT at the end of rearing (body weight 1450 +/- 25 g LB and 1500 +/- 25 g LT) was 422.4 +/- 41.9 cm2 (LB) and 446.7 +/- 49.0 cm2 (LT) stand- ing, respectively 448.0 +/- 51.0 cm2 (LB) and 464.5 +/- 42.6 cm2 (LT) sitting. LSL and DW (body weight 1300 +/- 25 g) used 371.0 +/- 41.3 cm2 (LSL) and 349.3 +/- 26.3 cm2 (DW), respectively in standing and 379.5 +/- 41.2 cm2 (LSL) in sitting position. Maximum stocking density recommendation for pullets based on these planimetric results compared with the space allowance in alternative housing systems for laying hens are between eleven and 14 birds/m2. To verify this stocking density recommendation for pullets further studies should be complemented by specific ethological observations. PMID:23540199

  19. Marking of nest entrance vicinity in the ant Pheidole pallidula (Formicidae, Myrmicinae).

    PubMed

    Cammaerts, M C; Cammaerts, R

    1998-01-01

    The present work demonstrates the marking of the immediate vicinity of the nest entrances in the ant Pheidole pallidula. These areas attract and arrest nestmates but deter alien ants; they are the nearest approached by nestmates, which ants walk also the more in their midst. On such areas, nestmates are quieter when alone and more aggressive in the close presence of an intruder than on virgin areas, whereas alien ants are more excited and less inclined to attack. The vicinity of the nest entrances is thus perceived as being territorially marked, according to Hölldobler and Wilson's definition (1990), and the different agonistic behaviour of intruder and resident workers on such a marked area reflects what is known as a Bourgeois strategy. The colony-specific marking of the nest entrance vicinity is established slowly and is rather long-lasting: it becomes obvious after 12 h and persists for nearly the same time. The marking is produced by non-recruited minor workers leaving their nest and walking around the entrance before going any further. It is not due to the deposit of faecal material, nor of secretions from the poison or the Dufour glands. The legs, fragments of legs, thorax, third segment of thorax and metapleural glands of minor workers all present an ethological activity identical to that of a territorially marked area. An acetone extract of minors' metapleural glands is active. Therefore, it appears that the minors mark the immediate vicinity of the nest entrances by depositing by their legs the metapleural gland contents. PMID:24897193

  20. BOLD fMRI in awake prairie voles: A platform for translational social and affective neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Yee, J R; Kenkel, W M; Kulkarni, P; Moore, K; Perkeybile, A M; Toddes, S; Amacker, J A; Carter, C S; Ferris, C F

    2016-09-01

    The advancement of neuroscience depends on continued improvement in methods and models. Here, we present novel techniques for the use of awake functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) - an important step forward in minimally-invasive measurement of neural activity in a non-traditional animal model. Imaging neural responses in prairie voles, a species studied for its propensity to form strong and selective social bonds, is expected to greatly advance our mechanistic understanding of complex social and affective processes. The use of ultra-high-field fMRI allows for recording changes in region-specific activity throughout the entire brain simultaneously and with high temporal and spatial resolutions. By imaging neural responses in awake animals, with minimal invasiveness, we are able to avoid the confound of anesthesia, broaden the scope of possible stimuli, and potentially make use of repeated scans from the same animals. These methods are made possible by the development of an annotated and segmented 3D vole brain atlas and software for image analysis. The use of these methods in the prairie vole provides an opportunity to broaden neuroscientific investigation of behavior via a comparative approach, which highlights the ethological relevance of pro-social behaviors shared between voles and humans, such as communal breeding, selective social bonds, social buffering of stress, and caregiving behaviors. Results using these methods show that fMRI in the prairie vole is capable of yielding robust blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal changes in response to hypercapnic challenge (inhaled 5% CO2), region-specific physical challenge (unilateral whisker stimulation), and presentation of a set of novel odors. Complementary analyses of repeated restraint sessions in the imaging hardware suggest that voles do not require acclimation to this procedure. Taken together, awake vole fMRI represents a new arena of neurobiological

  1. Bovine viral diarrhea virus in free-ranging wild ruminants in Switzerland: low prevalence of infection despite regular interactions with domestic livestock

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    . Nevertheless, our results suggest that BVDV infections are only sporadic in Swiss wild ruminants, despite regular occurrence of interactions with potentially infected livestock. Overall, serological, virological and ethological data indicate that wildlife is currently an incidental spill-over host and not a reservoir for BVDV in Switzerland. PMID:23107231

  2. Contrasting behavioral and feeding strategies recorded by tidal-flat bivalve trace fossils from the Upper Carboniferous of eastern Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mangano, M.G.; Buatois, L.A.; West, R.R.; Maples, C.G.

    1998-01-01

    bivalve. Lockeia ornata exhibits distinctive, fine, parallel lines that mimic the ornamentation of Phestia, a nuculanid protobranch bivalve. Rosary and radial structures give evidence of a patterned search for food. Lockeia ornata and associated Protovirgularia record dominant horizontal locomoton and suggest the activity of deposit-feeding bivalves. Morphologic variability of Protovirgularia was controlled by substrate fluidity, which was dependent on sediment heterogeneity and tidal-cycle dynamics. This study demonstrates that detailed analysis of bivalve traces provides valuable information on bivalve ethology and paleoecology, evolutionary innovations, environmental dynamics, and substrate fluidity.

  3. Sexual performance and precontact 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations in WAG/Rij rats: effects of opioid receptor treatment.

    PubMed

    Bialy, Michal; Strefnel, Michal; Nikolaev-Diak, Anna; Socha, Anna; Nikolaev, Evgeni; Boguszewski, Pawel M

    2014-10-01

    WAG/Rij rats are genetically selected animals that model absence epilepsy in rats. Ultrasonic vocalizations and sexual behavior - both ethologically relevant markers of reward system functioning - are poorly described in this strain. The aim of our experiment was to investigate reward-dependent precontact 50-kHz vocalizations (PVs) and copulatory behavior as well as the effects of opioid receptor treatment on such behaviors in sexually experienced WAG/Rij males and rats from two control strains: Sprague-Dawley and Crl: Han Wistar. We analyzed the effects of the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone (3 mg/kg) and the agonist morphine (1 mg/kg) administration. Additionally, we analyzed the initiation of copulation in sexually naïve males before drug treatment. A significantly lower number of sexually naïve WAG/Rij rats initiated copulation. Sexually experienced WAG/Rij males differed at the control session (after physiological saline treatment) compared with Sprague-Dawley rats: WAG/Rij rats displayed more 50-kHz precontact vocalizations and had longer mount and intromission latencies, longer ejaculation latency, longer postejaculatory latency to exploration, longer 22-kHz vocalization duration after ejaculation, and longer postejaculatory intromission latency. Compared with Crl: Han Wistar rats, WAG/Rij males displayed longer mount latency and shorter 22-kHz vocalization duration. Neither naltrexone nor morphine affected PVs in all groups. On the other hand, opioid receptor treatment differently influenced the number of intromissions required to achieve ejaculation and 22-kHz postejaculatory vocalization duration in WAG/Rij rats than in both control groups. This suggests functional differences in the opioid system in this strain. As a result of the number of males that initiated copulation as well as the number of intromissions to ejaculation and 22-kHz postejaculatory vocalizations which all depend on D1 receptor activation, we suggest that the proportion of

  4. The misbehaviour of a metacognitive monkey

    PubMed Central

    Sayers, Ken; Evans, Theodore A.; Menzel, Emilie; Smith, J. David; Beran, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Metacognition, the monitoring of one’s own mental states, is a fundamental aspect of human intellect. Despite tests in nonhuman animals suggestive of uncertainty monitoring, some authors interpret these results solely in terms of primitive psychological mechanisms and reinforcement regimes, where “reinforcement” is invariably considered to be the delivery and consumption of earned food rewards. Surprisingly, few studies have detailed the trial-by-trial behaviour of animals engaged in such tasks. Here we report ethology-based observations on a rhesus monkey completing sparse-dense discrimination problems, and given the option of escaping trials (i.e., responding “uncertain”) at its own choosing. Uncertainty responses were generally made on trials of high objective difficulty, and were characterized by long latencies before beginning visible trials, long times taken for response, and, even after controlling for difficulty, high degrees of wavering during response. Incorrect responses were also common in trials of high objective difficulty, but were characterized by low degrees of wavering. This speaks to the likely adaptive nature of “hesitation,” and is inconsistent with models which argue or predict implicit, inflexible information-seeking or “alternative option” behaviours whenever challenging problems present themselves, Confounding models which suggest that nonhuman behaviour in metacognition tasks is driven solely by food delivery/consumption, the monkey was also observed allowing pellets to accumulate and consuming them during and after trials of all response/outcome categories (i.e., whether correct, incorrect, or escaped). This study thus bolsters previous findings that rhesus monkey behaviour in metacognition tasks is in some respects disassociated from mere food delivery/consumption, or even the avoidance of punishment. These and other observations fit well with the evolutionary status and natural proclivities of rhesus monkeys

  5. “Shark is the man!”: ethnoknowledge of Brazil’s South Bahia fishermen regarding shark behaviors

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Fishermen’s knowledge is a source of indispensable information in decision-making processes related to efforts to stimulate the management and conservation of fishing resources, especially in developing countries. This study analyzed the knowledge of fishermen from three municipal areas of Bahia in northeast Brazil regarding the behavior repertoire of sharks and the possible influence that these perceptions may have on the inclination to preserve these animals. This is a pioneering study on the ethnobiological aspects of elasmobranchs in Brazil. Methods Open, semi-structured interviews with shark fishing specialists were conducted between September 2011 and October 2012. The interviews addressed the fishermen’s profile, fishing techniques and knowledge about sharks, focusing on the behaviours exhibited by sharks. The data were analysed with quantitative approach and conducted with the use of descriptive statistical techniques. Results Sixty-five fishermen were interviewed. They descend from the rafting subculture of Brazil’s northeast, which has historically been disregarded by public policies addressing the management and conservation of fishing resources. The fishing fleet involved in shark fishing includes rafts, fishing boats and lobster boats equipped with fishing lines, gillnets, longlines and “esperas”. The informers classified sharks’ behaviour repertoire into 19 ethological categories, related especially to feeding, reproduction, and social and migratory behaviours. Because they identify sharks as predators, the detailed recognition of the behaviours exhibited is crucial both for an efficient catch and to avoid accidents. Therefore, this knowledge is doubly adaptive as it contributes to safer, more lucrative fishing. A feeling of respect for sharks predominates, since informers recognize the ecological role of these animals in marine ecosystems, attributing them the status of leader (or “the man”) in the sea. Conclusions This

  6. Immediate post-defeat infusions of the noradrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol impair the consolidation of conditioned defeat in male Syrian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Gray, Cloe Luckett; Krebs-Kraft, Desiree L; Solomon, Matia B; Norvelle, Alisa; Parent, Marise B; Huhman, Kim L

    2015-12-01

    consolidation of CD. Collectively, the present results indicate that noradrenergic activity promotes the consolidation of CD and suggest that CD is a valuable model to study the processes by which emotion and stress modulate memory in an ethologically relevant context. These data also suggest that the popular conception in the clinical literature that the anxiolytic effect of propranolol is primarily due to the drug's peripheral effects may need to be reconsidered. PMID:26367452

  7. Putative anxiety-linked effects of the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME in three murine exploratory behavior models.

    PubMed

    Czech, Donald A; Jacobson, Erika B; LeSueur-Reed, Kolitta T; Kazel, Melanie R

    2003-07-01

    The aim of the current study was to extend investigation into possible linkage between nitric oxide (NO) and anxiety-linked behavior using a battery of tests. Effects of the NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) were investigated in three murine models of anxiety-the light-dark, hole-board and elevated plus-maze-in between-groups designs. Treatment groups included L-NAME (0 [vehicle, or Veh], 10, 25, and 50 mg/kg) and 50 mg/kg of the inactive isomer N(G)-nitro-D-arginine methyl ester (D-NAME) injected subcutaneously. Mice exhibited a robust anxiogenic-like response profile reflected by dose-related decreases in both light-dark (transitions and time in lighted area) and hole-board (head dips and time spent head dipping) test measures, reaching statistical significance at 25 and 50 mg/kg L-NAME when compared to Veh controls (P<.05 or.01; Dunnett's t test), while distance traveled and rearing showed no significant differential pattern in either model. In both models, there was a strong dissociation between nonspecific locomotion and putative exploratory behaviors. D-NAME was not significantly different from Veh condition in either model, indicating a stereospecific action and supporting NO involvement. A dose-related decrease was also observed for several traditional and ethological measures in the plus-maze; however, the effect was limited and relatively weak or absent; with the exception of open-arm and percent open-arm entries, putative anxiety-sensitive measures reached statistical significance only at the highest dose. Reductions in motor activity compromised ability to dissociate an anxiety linkage from a nonspecific motor effect in most measures. It is concluded that the hole-board and light-dark tests provide indication of anxiogenic-like action of NOS inhibition, suggesting that NO has an anxiolytic action. Data from the plus-maze are unclear, owing to a confounding motor influence in most measures. PMID:12957214

  8. Low Dose Nicotine and Antagonism of β2 Subunit Containing Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Have Similar Effects on Affective Behavior in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Shawn M.; Brunzell, Darlene H.

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine leads to both activation and desensitization (inactivation) of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). This study tested the hypothesis that nicotine and a selective antagonist of β2*nAChRs would have similar effects on affective behavior. Adult C57BL/6J male mice were tested in a conditioned emotional response (CER) assay which evaluates the ability of an aversive stimulus to inhibit goal-directed behavior. Mice lever-pressed for a saccharin reinforcer according to a variable schedule of reinforcement during sessions in which two presentations of a compound light/tone conditioned stimulus (CS) co-terminated with a 0.1 or 0.3 mA, 0.5 s footshock unconditioned stimulus (US). During testing in the absence of the US, mice received doses of i.p. nicotine (0, 0.0032, 0.01, 0.032, 0.1 mg/kg) or a selective β2 subunit containing nAChR (β2*nAChR) antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (0, 0.1, 0.3, 1.0, 3.0 mg/kg DHβE). There was a dose-dependent effect of nicotine revealing that only low doses (0.01, 0.032 mg/kg) increased CER suppression ratios (SR) in these mice. DHβE also dose-dependently increased SR at the 3 mg/kg dose. In ethological measures of fear−/anxiety-like behavior, these doses of nicotine and DHβE significantly reduced digging behavior in a marble burying task and 0.3 mg/kg DHβE promoted open-arm activity in the elevated plus maze. Doses of nicotine and DHβE that altered affective behavior had no effect on locomotor activity. Similar to previous reports with anxiolytic drugs, low dose nicotine and DHβE reversed SR in a CER assay, decreased digging in a marble burying assay and increased open arm activity in the elevated plus maze. This study provides evidence that inactivation of β2*nAChRs reduces fear-like and anxiety-like behavior in rodents and suggests that smokers may be motivated to smoke in part to desensitize their β2*nAChRs. These data further identify β2*nAChR antagonism as a potential therapeutic strategy for relief of

  9. The Songbird Neurogenomics (SoNG) Initiative: Community-based tools and strategies for study of brain gene function and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Replogle, Kirstin; Arnold, Arthur P; Ball, Gregory F; Band, Mark; Bensch, Staffan; Brenowitz, Eliot A; Dong, Shu; Drnevich, Jenny; Ferris, Margaret; George, Julia M; Gong, George; Hasselquist, Dennis; Hernandez, Alvaro G; Kim, Ryan; Lewin, Harris A; Liu, Lei; Lovell, Peter V; Mello, Claudio V; Naurin, Sara; Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Wade, Juli; Clayton, David F

    2008-01-01

    Background Songbirds hold great promise for biomedical, environmental and evolutionary research. A complete draft sequence of the zebra finch genome is imminent, yet a need remains for application of genomic resources within a research community traditionally focused on ethology and neurobiological methods. In response, we developed a core set of genomic tools and a novel collaborative strategy to probe gene expression in diverse songbird species and natural contexts. Results We end-sequenced cDNAs from zebra finch brain and incorporated additional sequences from community sources into a database of 86,784 high quality reads. These assembled into 31,658 non-redundant contigs and singletons, which we annotated via BLAST search of chicken and human databases. The results are publicly available in the ESTIMA:Songbird database. We produced a spotted cDNA microarray with 20,160 addresses representing 17,214 non-redundant products of an estimated 11,500–15,000 genes, validating it by analysis of immediate-early gene (zenk) gene activation following song exposure and by demonstrating effective cross hybridization to genomic DNAs of other songbird species in the Passerida Parvorder. Our assembly was also used in the design of the "Lund-zfa" Affymetrix array representing ~22,000 non-redundant sequences. When the two arrays were hybridized to cDNAs from the same set of male and female zebra finch brain samples, both arrays detected a common set of regulated transcripts with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.895. To stimulate use of these resources by the songbird research community and to maintain consistent technical standards, we devised a "Community Collaboration" mechanism whereby individual birdsong researchers develop experiments and provide tissues, but a single individual in the community is responsible for all RNA extractions, labelling and microarray hybridizations. Conclusion Immediately, these results set the foundation for a coordinated set of 25 planned

  10. [Behavioral mechanisms of spatial competition between red wood ants (Formica aquilonia) and ground beetles (Carabidae)].

    PubMed

    Dorosheva, E A; Reznikova, Zh I

    2006-01-01

    . Instead, they recognize an "enemy's image" and selectively attack relatively small predatory carabids rather than herbivorous species. Experiments with dummy beetles suggest that ants react for several hierarchically organized key characteristics of competitors such as speed of movement, dark color, bilateral symmetry, protuberances (legs, antennae), and smell. Among "professional" groups in ant family, guards and hunters react to beetles aggressively, whereas aphid tenders ignore them. Sophisticated combination of flexible and innate behavioral patterns enables insects to share territories and interact in the mode of relatively mild, spatial, competition instead of predation. Eliciting sets of hierarchically organized features of competitors that govern adjustment of spatial distribution in insects' community enable us to integrate ideas of classic and cognitive ethology. PMID:17100097

  11. Disruption of 5-HT1A function in adolescence but not early adulthood leads to sustained increases of anxiety.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Garcia, A L; Meng, Q; Richardson-Jones, J; Dranovsky, A; Leonardo, E D

    2016-05-01

    Current evidence suggests that anxiety disorders have developmental origins. Early insults to the circuits that sub-serve emotional regulation are thought to cause disease later in life. Evidence from studies in mice demonstrate that the serotonergic system in general, and serotonin 1A (5-HT1A) receptors in particular, are critical during the early postnatal period for the normal development of circuits that subserve anxious behavior. However, little is known about the role of serotonin signaling through 5-HT1A receptors between the emergence of normal anxiety behavior after weaning, and the mature adult phenotype. Here, we use both transgenic and pharmacological approaches in male mice, to identify a sensitive period for 5-HT1A function in the stabilization of circuits mediating anxious behavior during adolescence. Using a transgenic approach we show that suppression of 5-HT1A receptor expression beginning in early adolescence results in an anxiety-like phenotype in the open field test. We further demonstrate that treatment with the 5-HT1A antagonist WAY 100,635 between postnatal day (P)35 and P50, but not at later timepoints, results in altered anxiety in ethologically based conflict tests like the open field test and elevated plus maze. This change in anxiety behavior occurs without impacting behavior in the more depression-related sucrose preference test or forced swim test. The treatment with WAY 100,635 does not affect adult 5-HT1A expression levels, but leads to increased expression of the serotonin transporter in the raphe, along with enhanced serotonin levels in both the prefrontal cortex and raphe that correlate with the behavioral changes observed in adult mice. This work demonstrates that signaling through 5-HT1A receptors during adolescence (a time when pathological anxiety emerges), but not early adulthood, is critical in regulating anxiety setpoints. These data suggest the possibility that brief interventions in the serotonergic system during

  12. Understanding Life : The Evolutionary Dynamics of Complexity and Semiosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loeckenhoff, Helmut K.

    2010-11-01

    Post-Renaissance sciences created different cultures. To establish an epistemological base, Physics were separated from the Mental domain. Consciousness was excluded from science. Life Sciences were left in between e.g. LaMettrie's `man—machine' (1748) and 'vitalism' [e.g. Bergson 4]. Causative thinking versus intuitive arguing limited strictly comprehensive concepts. First ethology established a potential shared base for science, proclaiming the `biology paradigm' in the middle of the 20th century. Initially procured by Cybernetics and Systems sciences, `constructivist' models prepared a new view on human perception and thus also of scientific `objectivity when introducing the `observer'. In sequel Computer sciences triggered the ICT revolution. In turn ICT helped to develop Chaos and Complexity sciences, Non-linear Mathematics and its spin-offs in the formal sciences [Spencer-Brown 49] as e.g. (proto-)logics. Models of life systems, as e.g. Anticipatory Systems, integrated epistemology with mathematics and Anticipatory Computing [Dubois 11, 12, 13, 14] connecting them with Semiotics. Seminal ideas laid in the turn of the 19th to the 20th century [J. v. Uexküll 53] detected the co-action and co-evolvement of environments and life systems. Bio-Semiotics ascribed purpose, intent and meaning as essential qualities of life. The concepts of Systems Biology and Qualitative Research enriched and develop also anthropologies and humanities. Brain research added models of (higher) consciousness. An avant-garde is contemplating a science including consciousness as one additional base. New insights from the extended qualitative approach led to re-conciliation of basic assumptions of scientific inquiry, creating the `epistemological turn'. Paradigmatically, resting on macro- micro- and recently on nano-biology, evolution biology sired fresh scripts of evolution [W. Wieser 60,61]. Its results tie to hypotheses describing the emergence of language, of the human mind and of

  13. Participation in introductory biology laboratories: An integrated assessment based on surveys, behavioral observations, and qualitative interviews

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, Connie Adelle

    Scope and method of study. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of gender, major, and prior knowledge of and attitude toward biology on participation in introductory biology laboratories. Subjects for this study were 3,527 students enrolled in college-level introductory biology courses. During the study, three introductory courses were replaced with one mixed-majors course. The new course adopted a different pedagological approach from the previous courses in that an inquiry-based approach was used in lectures and laboratories. All subjects completed a survey that measured content knowledge using the NABT/NSTA High School Biology Examination Version 1990 and attitude using Russell and Hollander's Biology Attitude Scale. I used and discuss the merits of using ethological methods and data collection software, EthoScribeTM (Tima Scientific) to collect behavioral data from 145 students. I also evaluated participation using qualitative interviews of 30 students. I analyzed content knowledge and attitude data using ANOVA and Pearson correlation, and behavioral data using Contingency Table Analysis. I analyzed interviews following methods outlined by Rubin and Rubin. Findings. Course style and gender were the most useful variables in distinguishing differences among groups of students with regard to attitude, content knowledge, and participation in laboratories. Attitude toward biology and achievement measured by the surveys were found to be positively correlated; however, gender, major, class standing, course style and interactions between these variables also had effects on these variables. I found a positive association among attitude, achievement and participation in hands-on activities in laboratories. Differences in participation also were associated group type. In a traditional introductory biology course, females in single-gender groups, gender-equal, or groups in which females were the majority spent more time performing hands-on science

  14. First-time rhesus monkey mothers, and mothers of sons, preferentially engage in face-to-face interactions with their infants.

    PubMed

    Dettmer, Amanda M; Kaburu, Stefano S K; Byers, Kristen L; Murphy, Ashley M; Soneson, Emma; Wooddell, Lauren J; Suomi, Stephen J

    2016-02-01

    Face-to-face interactions between mothers and infants occur in both human and non-human primates, but there is large variability in the occurrence of these behaviors and the reason for this variability remains largely unexplored. Other types of maternal investment have been shown to be dependent on infant sex (e.g. milk production and maternal responsiveness) and maternal experience (e.g. symmetrical communication). Thus, we sought to determine whether variability in face-to-face interactions, that is, mutual gazing (MG), which are hypothesized to be important for later socio-cognitive development, could be explained by these variables. We studied 28 semi-free ranging rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) mother-infant dyads (6 primiparous; 12 male infants) born and reared at the Laboratory of Comparative Ethology field station at the NIH Animal Center in Poolesville, MD, across the first 90 postnatal days. Infant sex (i.e. male) was a significant predictor of maternal grooming (β ± SE = 0.359 ± 0.164, Z = 2.19, P = 0.029) whereas both parity (i.e. first time mothers) and infant sex (i.e. male) significantly predicted MG (parity: β ± SE = -0.735 ± 0.223, Z = -3.30, P < 0.001; infant sex: β ± SE = 0.436 ± 0.201, Z = 2.17, P = 0.029). Separation from the mother (outside of arm's reach) was not influenced by parity or infant sex. Together with existing literature, these findings point toward differential maternal investment for sons versus daughters. Mothers may be investing differentially in sons, behaviorally, to ensure their future social competence and thus later reproductive success. Collectively, our findings add to the literature that is beginning to identify early life experiences that may lead to sex differences in neurological and behavioral development. PMID:26581804

  15. [Adaptations in reproduction and behavior of captive chimpanzees-- zoobiological and veterinary managements].

    PubMed

    Böer, M

    2000-10-01

    but normalized with improved social situation. Disturbed cyclicity featured prolongation of interestrus intervals and complete detumescence, oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea. Nulliparous females in their third decennium needed more than 1.5 years of social contact to a fertile male to become fullterm pregnant. During the first two months of pregnancy stillbirths and embryonic resorptions were detected. Handreared and inexperienced primiparous gorilla females accepted their infants and reared them normally after witnessing motherrearing in neighbored chimpanzee females for several years. Opportunities of free choice and decision making determine zookept pongid behaviour, that cannot be compared with prisoners' ethology. Adaptations of ontogenetic behaviour and reproduction, teleonomic patterns and zoomorphism are of zoobiological relevance. Adaptations develope during prolonged periods of time and thus results of corresponding management issues are to be assessed a posteriori. PMID:11143961

  16. Laterality of hand function in naturalistically housed chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Alison W; Weghorst, Jennifer A

    2005-05-01

    Studies of laterality of hand function in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have the potential to tell us about the origins of handedness in Homo sapiens. However, the data are confusing, with discrepancies present between studies done in the field and the laboratory: the former show wild chimpanzees to be unlateralised at the population level, while the latter show captive chimpanzees as lateralised at the population level. This study of 26 semi-free ranging chimpanzees of Chester Zoo, UK, aimed to investigate a situation between the wild and captivity and provided ethological data for 43 categories of spontaneous manual use and 14 categories of tool use. Other variables recorded were subordinate hand activity, whether the subject was arboreal or terrestrial, and the identity of the subject. Using switching focal subject sampling, 23,978 bouts of hand use and 1,090 bouts of tool use were recorded. No population-level handedness was present for manual non-tool use activities in the naturalistically housed chimpanzees of Chester Zoo in a similar way to studies of wild chimpanzees. However, about half of the individuals were lateralised to one side or the other for the foraging behaviours of pick up, eat, and pluck. Using a modified version of McGrew and Marchant's (1997) Laterality Framework, these results are comparable to some wild and captive populations for similar foraging tasks. Bimanuality was rare and thus prevented comparison with captive experimental studies that have reported population right handedness. Behaviour involving contact with water elicited stronger lateralisation. Chester chimpanzees were more likely to exhibit hand preferences for manual tasks with increasing age but there were no effects of sex or rearing history on hand specialisations in adult individuals. Lateralisation was biased in tool use, which evoked significant left hand preferences in half the individuals, with no effect of age. Results are discussed comparatively with reference to

  17. Male courtship behavior of the South American fruit fly, Anastrepha fraterculus, from an Argentinean laboratory strain.

    PubMed

    Gomez Cendra, P; Calcagno, G; Belluscio, L; Vilardi, J C

    2011-01-01

    The South American fruit fly Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is a pest of fruit species of warm regions of the Americas, including Argentina. Some authors claim that this taxon includes a group of cryptic species. In order to evaluate possible targets of sexual selection, it is necessary to analyze ethological aspects of male courtship and identify particular steps that strongly influence mating success. A mating test designed to evaluate behavioral differences between insects that achieve copulation (successful males) and those that did not mate (unsuccessful males) could also be relevant for the possible implementation of control programs based on sterile insect technique. Reared insects need to be evaluated periodically, since genetic drift and artificial selection associated with rearing conditions could have a detrimental effect on their ability to compete for matings in nature. In this study, courtship behavior of A. fraterculus males from a laboratory strain was analyzed for the first time through video recordings. Three components for the activities were identified: calling, wing positions, and movements. Also, the time that males spent on each step of the courtship was registered, including the last activities before attempting copulation. Data showed that mating achievement occurs relatively quickly; 65% of the successful males reached copulation within the first ten minutes after the male and female were placed together. Behavioral differences were detected between successful and unsuccessful males. The former group tended to invest more time in activities directly related with mating (Spin, Arrowhead, Attempt); however, as courtship progressed, unsuccessful males increased the time dedicated to activities not directly associated to mating (Call 0, Relax,Stationary). There was not a single sequence of activities leading to success, but the analysis of the last activities performed before mating attempts indicated that the most

  18. Computational acoustic modeling of cetacean vocalizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurevich, Michael Dixon

    A framework for computational acoustic modeling of hypothetical vocal production mechanisms in cetaceans is presented. As a specific example, a model of a proposed source in the larynx of odontocetes is developed. Whales and dolphins generate a broad range of vocal sounds, but the exact mechanisms they use are not conclusively understood. In the fifty years since it has become widely accepted that whales can and do make sound, how they do so has remained particularly confounding. Cetaceans' highly divergent respiratory anatomy, along with the difficulty of internal observation during vocalization have contributed to this uncertainty. A variety of acoustical, morphological, ethological and physiological evidence has led to conflicting and often disputed theories of the locations and mechanisms of cetaceans' sound sources. Computational acoustic modeling has been used to create real-time parametric models of musical instruments and the human voice. These techniques can be applied to cetacean vocalizations to help better understand the nature and function of these sounds. Extensive studies of odontocete laryngeal morphology have revealed vocal folds that are consistently similar to a known but poorly understood acoustic source, the ribbon reed. A parametric computational model of the ribbon reed is developed, based on simplified geometrical, mechanical and fluid models drawn from the human voice literature. The physical parameters of the ribbon reed model are then adapted to those of the odontocete larynx. With reasonable estimates of real physical parameters, both the ribbon reed and odontocete larynx models produce sounds that are perceptually similar to their real-world counterparts, and both respond realistically under varying control conditions. Comparisons of acoustic features of the real-world and synthetic systems show a number of consistencies. While this does not on its own prove that either model is conclusively an accurate description of the source, it

  19. Monty Roberts' Public Demonstrations: Preliminary Report on the Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability of Horses Undergoing Training during Live Audience Events.

    PubMed

    Loftus, Loni; Marks, Kelly; Jones-McVey, Rosie; Gonzales, Jose L; Fowler, Veronica L

    2016-01-01

    Effective training of horses relies on the trainer's awareness of learning theory and equine ethology, and should be undertaken with skill and time. Some trainers, such as Monty Roberts, share their methods through the medium of public demonstrations. This paper describes the opportunistic analysis of beat-to-beat (RR) intervals and heart rate variability (HRV) of ten horses being used in Monty Roberts' public demonstrations within the United Kingdom. RR and HRV was measured in the stable before training and during training. The HRV variables standard deviation of the RR interval (SDRR), root mean square of successive RR differences (RMSSD), geometric means standard deviation 1 (SD1) and 2 (SD2), along with the low and high frequency ratio (LF/HF ratio) were calculated. The minimum, average and maximum RR intervals were significantly lower in training (indicative of an increase in heart rate as measured in beats-per-minute) than in the stable ( p = 0.0006; p = 0.01; p = 0.03). SDRR, RMSSD, SD1, SD2 and the LF/HF ratio were all significantly lower in training than in the stable ( p = 0.001; p = 0.049; p = 0.049; p = 0.001; p = 0.01). When comparing the HR and HRV of horses during Join-up (®) to overall training, there were no significant differences in any variable with the exception of maximum RR which was significantly lower ( p = 0.007) during Join-up (®) , indicative of short increases in physical exertion (canter) associated with this training exercise. In conclusion, training of horses during public demonstrations is a low-moderate physiological, rather than psychological stressor for horses. The physiological stress responses observed within this study were comparable or less to those previously reported in the literature for horses being trained outside of public audience events. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the use of Join-up (®) alters HR and HRV in a way to suggest that this training method negatively affects the psychological welfare of

  20. Emergence of Relations and the Essence of Learning: A Review of Sidman's Equivalence Relations and Behavior: A Research Story

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1995-01-01

    important advance in our efforts to understand the richness of behavior in both humans and nonhuman animals. Although not presented to that end, the book might also serve to bridge communications with other groups of animal researchers whose interests lie more in a comparative or ethological framework.

  1. Amphetamine sensitization in mice is sufficient to produce both manic- and depressive-related behaviors as well as changes in the functional connectivity of corticolimbic structures.

    PubMed

    Pathak, G; Ibrahim, B A; McCarthy, S A; Baker, K; Kelly, M P

    2015-08-01

    It has been suggested that amphetamine abuse and withdrawal mimics the diverse nature of bipolar disorder symptomatology in humans. Here, we determined if a single paradigm of amphetamine sensitization would be sufficient to produce both manic- and depressive-related behaviors in mice. CD-1 mice were subcutaneously dosed for 5 days with 1.8 mg/kg d-amphetamine or vehicle. On days 6-31 of withdrawal, amphetamine-sensitized (AS) mice were compared to vehicle-treated (VT) mice on a range of behavioral and biochemical endpoints. AS mice demonstrated reliable mania- and depression-related behaviors from day 7 to day 28 of withdrawal. Relative to VT mice, AS mice exhibited long-lasting mania-like hyperactivity following either an acute 30-min restraint stress or a low-dose 1 mg/kg d-amphetamine challenge, which was attenuated by the mood-stabilizers lithium and quetiapine. In absence of any challenge, AS mice showed anhedonia-like decreases in sucrose preference and depression-like impairments in the off-line consolidation of motor memory, as reflected by the lack of spontaneous improvement across days of training on the rotarod. AS mice also demonstrated a functional impairment in nest building, an ethologically-relevant activity of daily living. Western blot analyses revealed a significant increase in methylation of histone 3 at lysine 9 (H3K9), but not lysine 4 (H3K4), in hippocampus of AS mice relative to VT mice. In situ hybridization for the immediate-early gene activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) further revealed heightened activation of corticolimbic structures, decreased functional connectivity between frontal cortex and striatum, and increased functional connectivity between the amygdala and hippocampus of AS mice. The effects of amphetamine sensitization were blunted in C57BL/6J mice relative to CD-1 mice. These results show that a single amphetamine sensitization protocol is sufficient to produce behavioral, functional, and biochemical

  2. Infundibula of equine maxillary cheek teeth: Part 2: Morphological variations and pathological changes.

    PubMed

    Suske, A; Pöschke, A; Müller, P; Wöber, S; Staszyk, C

    2016-03-01

    Incomplete cemental filling of the infundibula of equine maxillary cheek teeth (CT) is a common feature. Depending on the extent of the defect, three stages of infundibular decay have been suggested. However, histomorphological criteria to identify non-pathological abnormalities and destructive changes have not been defined. Six hundred and eighty eight CT with no evidence of dental diseases and 55 diseased permanent, fully erupted maxillary CT were evaluated on a macroscopic level by assessing the occlusal surface and horizontal sections, including porphyrin assays to detect residual blood within the infundibular cementum. Selected specimens were investigated on a microscopic level using routine and immunohistological staining methods to identify possible routes for the spread of infectious agents from the infundibulum into the endodontic system. Infundibular cemental hypoplasia was defined as a non-pathological developmental abnormality and was detected in >50% of CT with no evidence of dental diseases and in >70% of diseased CT. The first molar (Triadan 09) showed the highest prevalence (75%) of infundibular cemental hypoplasia. The mesial infundibulum was more often affected than the distal infundibulum. Infundibular erosion was considered as the most appropriate term to describe destructive infundibular changes. Infundibular erosion was present in <6% of CT with no evidence of dental diseases, but was detected in >27% of diseased teeth, always accompanied by endodontic disease. This suggests that teeth affected by infundibular cemental hypoplasia are prone to destructive erosion, which possibly leads to endodontic disease. Morphological factors that supplement this ethological hypothesis were described. In 74% of infundibula residual blood was identified, although no vital blood vessels were detected. It is assumed that this content of blood remained in the ample infundibular cemental blood system after tooth eruption and creates a favorable environment for

  3. Animats: computer-simulated animals in behavioral research.

    PubMed

    Watts, J M

    1998-10-01

    The term animat refers to a class of simulated animals. This article is intended as a nontechnical introduction to animat research. Animats can be robots interacting with the real world or computer simulations. In this article, the use of computer-generated animats is emphasized. The scientific use of animats has been pioneered by artificial intelligence and artificial life researchers. Behavior-based artificial intelligence uses animats capable of autonomous and adaptive activity as conceptual tools in the design of usefully intelligent systems. Artificial life proponents view some human artifacts, including informational structures that show adaptive behavior and self-replication, as animats may do, as analogous to biological organisms. Animat simulations may be used for rapid and inexpensive evaluation of new livestock environments or management techniques. The animat approach is a powerful heuristic for understanding the mechanisms that underlie behavior. The simple rules and capabilities of animat models generate emergent and sometimes unpredictable behavior. Adaptive variability in animat behavior may be exploited using artificial neural networks. These have computational properties similar to natural neurons and are capable of learning. Artificial neural networks can control behavior at all levels of an animat's functional organization. Improving the performance of animats often requires genetic programming. Genetic algorithms are computer programs that are capable of self-replication, simulating biological reproduction. Animats may thus evolve over generations. Selective forces may be provided by a human overseer or be part of the simulated environment. Animat techniques allow researchers to culture behavior outside the organism that usually produces it. This approach could contribute new insights in theoretical ethology on questions including the origins of social behavior and cooperation, adaptation, and the emergent nature of complex behavior. Animat

  4. Conceptual framework alignment between primary literature and education in animal behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierema, Andrea Marie-Kryger

    In 1963, Tinbergen revolutionized the study of animal behaviour in his paper On aims and methods of ethology (Zeitschrift Tierpsycholgie, 20, 410-433) by revamping the conceptual framework of the discipline. His framework suggests an integration of four questions: causation, ontogeny, survival value, and evolution. The National Research Council Committee (U.S.) on Undergraduate Biology Education to Prepare Research Scientists for the 21st Century published BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists (Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003), which suggests alignment between current research and undergraduate education. Unfortunately, alignment has been rarely studied in college biology, especially for fundamental concepts. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to determine if the conceptual framework used by animal behaviour scientists, as presented in current primary literature, aligns with what students are exposed to in undergraduate biology education. After determining the most commonly listed textbooks from randomlyselected animal behaviour syllabi, four of the most popular textbooks, as well as the course descriptions provided in the collected syllabi, underwent content analysis in order to determine the extent that each of Tinbergen's four questions is being applied in education. Mainstream animal behaviour journal articles from 2013 were also assessed via content analysis in order to evaluate the current research framework. It was discovered that over 80% of the textbook text covered only two of Tinbergen's questions (survival value and causation). The other two questions, evolution and ontogeny, were rarely described in the text. A similar trend was found in journal articles. Therefore, alignment is occurring between primary literature and education, but neither aligns with the established conceptual framework of the discipline. According to course descriptions, many instructors intend to use an integrated

  5. [Man and his fellow-creatures under ethical aspects].

    PubMed

    Teutsch, Gotthard M

    2005-01-01

    It is for reasons of age I will have to terminate my work at the Literary Review in the form developed since 1995. The report is being reduced to a concentration of ethically relevant reviews as exemplified in the fourth-quarter issue of ALTEX. This is to ascertain that essential developments in this field will not be overlooked. Insofar, the Literary Review will be continued under the heading "New literature concerning topics of animal ethics". The more central topics of animal ethics are being "used up" the more new questions are being formulated. Thus it was that during the last few years the plant-world, long neglected, was rediscovered and received attention through the publication of important works. Another recent discovery concerns itself with "cognitive ethology" which developed out of the critique of behaviourism and which is dealt with in a separate chapter in this issue. But there is also a "classic" of ethics who has been reviewed and interpreted anew repeatedly. In her book "Albert Schweitzer, a prophet of medical ethics", Heike Baranzke describes Schweitzer's ethics as not sentimental or nostalgic but rather as a radically modern stance, committed to the enlightenment. Manuel Schneider, also, conveys a comprehensive view of Albert Schweitzer's ethics in "Life in the middle of life - the relevance of the ethics of Albert Schweitzer", a book edited by Altner, Frambach, Gottwald and himself in 2005. For this, in particular, he derives a possibility of a physiocentric ethics. By contrast, Beate Weinzierl approaches Schweitzer on a complete personal and human level in "Yearning for nature - access to inner and outer nature with Albert Schweitzer". Wolfgang Senz is undertaking a critical appreciation of Albert Schweitzer's concept of "life" and this, foremost, in the light of Schweitzer's rejection of the Cartesian "I am". In the end, Jean Claude Wolf cannot manage without citing Schweitzer either, referring to him in his not accepting the (western) world

  6. Analysis of the parasitic copepod species richness among Mediterranean fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raibaut, André; Combes, Claude; Benoit, Françoise

    1998-06-01

    as follows: (1) In many cases, parasite and host phylogeny seem to play an important role. There are fish families with copepods and families with few species of these parasites. The phyletic constraints could be due to the morphological characteristics of the habitat (e.g. structure of the gills) or biological/ecological characteristics that we were unable to identify. (2) It appears that the presence in a same environment of related fish species (e.g. several species of the same genus, or numerous genera of the same family) is correlated with high parasite richness. A likely explanation is that such situations favours alternated processes of lateral transfers and speciation. (3) Some eco-ethological criteria seem to favour the establishment of a large parasite species richness. It should be noted for instance that Mediterranean fishes the most often infected with copepods are generally nectonic or pelagic, migratory, and gregarious species.

  7. Cybersemiotics: A suggestion for a transdisciplinary framework for description of observing, anticipatory and meaning producing systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brier, Soren

    1998-07-01

    language in the true sense I have extended his concept into ethology and bio-semiotics by talking of sign games related to specific motivations and innate response mechanisms. Life as such seems to be an anticipatory function generating expectations through evolution through open genetic programs as Konrad Lorenz pointed out. The phenomenon of imprinting in ducks for instance is a standard example of programmed anticipation. Expectations are expectations of meaning and order (information) related to the semiosphere the organism constructs as its individual world view and live in. (The Umwelt of von Uexküll). On this basis events that perpetuates the semiosphere are reduced to meaning, i.e. something related to the survival and procreation of the individual living system, it conatus, to use one of Spinoza's terms. The framework of cybersemiotics, uniting second order cybernetics, semiotics and language game theory, is created to make transdisciplinary concepts and models that can handle the process of cognition, information and communication across the domains of the sciences, the arts and social sciences in a non-reductionistic way. It is seen as an alternative based on biological and semiotic thinking (biosemiotics) to the functionalistic information processing paradigm of cognitive science that is build on the computer as paradigm and based on classical logic and mechanistic physics—and therefore has severe problems of dealing with semantics and signification.

  8. Steppe bison paleobiology through the scope of stable isotopes and zooarchaeology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Julien, Marie-Anne; Dorothée, Drucker; Hervé, Bocherens; Ariane, Burke; Marylène, Patou-Mathis; Alexandra, Krotova

    2010-05-01

    Bison are one of the most abundant and widely distributed species of large mammal during the Late Pleistocene. In the southern steppes of Eastern Europe, steppe bison (Bison priscus) is ubiquitous in zooarchaeological assemblages, particularly during the Upper Palaeolithic when a model of economic "specialization" is proposed. Specialization, in this context, implies the deliberate selection of a preferred species, which becomes the key food resource. The applicability of a specialised hunting model for the Upper Palaeolithic of Europe has recently been challenged, however (Grayson & Delpech 2002). In this research, therefore we re-examine bison acquisition strategies during the Upper Palaeolithic in the Ukrainian steppes in the light of biogeochemical and zooarchaeological data. The acquisition strategies used to procure a prey species are directly related to its social and spatial behaviour. A synthesis of ethological information for contemporary bison (Julien 2009) demonstrates the behavioural diversity of this taxa, linked mainly to local environmental variability, climatic conditions and population density. It is therefore necessary to propose a paleoethological model for the steppe bison before attempting to identify the acquisition strategies used by prehistoric hunters. In this research, we reconstruct the behaviour of the steppe bison using a combination of zooarchaeological tools, stable isotope analysis (intra-tooth isotope variation of carbon, oxygen and strontium ratios) and traditional paleobiological approaches. The advantages of using a combined approach are demonstrated through the examination of a case study: the site of Amvrosievka (Ukraine). Amvrosievka is a complex of Epigravettian sites composed of a camp and kill site, where more than 500 bison are represented (Krotova & Belan 1993). Twenty-five permanent lower teeth (M3) representing twenty-five individual bison were selected from the kill and camp site for isotopic analysis. Intra- and

  9. Steppe bison paleobiology through the scope of stable isotopes and zooarchaeology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Julien, Marie-Anne; Dorothée, Drucker; Hervé, Bocherens; Ariane, Burke; Marylène, Patou-Mathis; Alexandra, Krotova

    2010-05-01

    Bison are one of the most abundant and widely distributed species of large mammal during the Late Pleistocene. In the southern steppes of Eastern Europe, steppe bison (Bison priscus) is ubiquitous in zooarchaeological assemblages, particularly during the Upper Palaeolithic when a model of economic "specialization" is proposed. Specialization, in this context, implies the deliberate selection of a preferred species, which becomes the key food resource. The applicability of a specialised hunting model for the Upper Palaeolithic of Europe has recently been challenged, however (Grayson & Delpech 2002). In this research, therefore we re-examine bison acquisition strategies during the Upper Palaeolithic in the Ukrainian steppes in the light of biogeochemical and zooarchaeological data. The acquisition strategies used to procure a prey species are directly related to its social and spatial behaviour. A synthesis of ethological information for contemporary bison (Julien 2009) demonstrates the behavioural diversity of this taxa, linked mainly to local environmental variability, climatic conditions and population density. It is therefore necessary to propose a paleoethological model for the steppe bison before attempting to identify the acquisition strategies used by prehistoric hunters. In this research, we reconstruct the behaviour of the steppe bison using a combination of zooarchaeological tools, stable isotope analysis (intra-tooth isotope variation of carbon, oxygen and strontium ratios) and traditional paleobiological approaches. The advantages of using a combined approach are demonstrated through the examination of a case study: the site of Amvrosievka (Ukraine). Amvrosievka is a complex of Epigravettian sites composed of a camp and kill site, where more than 500 bison are represented (Krotova & Belan 1993). Twenty-five permanent lower teeth (M3) representing twenty-five individual bison were selected from the kill and camp site for isotopic analysis. Intra- and

  10. Spotted hyena and steppe lion predation behaviours on cave bears of Europe - ?Late Quaternary cave bear extinction as result of predator stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2010-05-01

    . (in review). Cave bear killers and scavengers from the last European Ice Age. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology. Diedrich, C., Žák, K. 2006. Prey deposits and den sites of the Upper Pleistocene hyena Crocuta crocuta spelaea (Goldfuss, 1823) in horizontal and vertical caves of the Bohemian Karst (Czech Republic). Bulletin of Geosciences, 81 (4), 237-276. Diedrich, C., Robu, M., Dragusin, V., Constantin, S., Moldovan, O., 2009. New Upper Pleistocene steppe lion skeleton finds between the cave bear hibernation plateaus of the Ursilor Cave bear den, Romania. Abstractc 15th International Cave Bear Symposium, Spisska Nova Ves Slovakia, 10. Diedrich, C., Moldovan, O., Constantin, S. 2009. Cave bear tracks, scratch marks, hair traces and hibernation nests in the Ursilor Cave (Transylvania, Romania) - preliminary report from a famous European cave bear den. - Stalactite, 58 (2): 48-52. Diedrich, C., Moldovan, O. 2010. Ichnological and ethological studies in one of Europe's famous bear den in the Ursilor Cave (Carpathians, Romania). - Quarternary International (accepted). Rabeder, G., Nagel, D., Pacher, M., 2000. Der Höhlenbär. Stuttgart: Thorbecke.