Science.gov

Sample records for ethology

  1. 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

  2. Veterinary ethology and animal welfare.

    PubMed

    Odendaal, J S

    1994-03-01

    Renewed interest in veterinary ethology has been stimulated by increasing sensitivity in modern societies with regard to the use of animals, and a concurrent shift in emphasis in the veterinary profession, including veterinary education. Veterinary ethology appears to form the common ground where animal welfare activists and veterinarians can meet. Ethological parameters seem to be adequate when evaluating animal welfare and well-being, as well as for correcting situations of animal abuse. This approach in assessing animal welfare avoids either a mechanistic or an emotional evaluation of the quality of life of an animal. The object of veterinary ethology is to teach responsible animal ownership. A practical checklist is provided which enables the full spectrum of animal welfare and well-being issues to be addressed from a veterinary point of view.

  3. 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....

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. [Behavior therapy of onchophagia and trichotillomania. Ethological and behavioral perspectives].

    PubMed

    van Bogaert-Titeca, E; Demaret, A

    1977-01-01

    Emphasis is brought to similarities between informations collected from the study and treatment of patients suffering from nail biting and trichotillomania, by behavioural treatment and the concept according to which such troubles are "tics", learned responses which will become non adapted, present in a given situation, reinforced by time and progressively more resistant to extinction on the one hand, and ethological concepts which consider those behaviours as displacement of activity such as "grooming" in primates, ritual activities, free from nutritions activities, triggered by some attitudes and facilitated by the presence of fear affects, aggressivity or sexual drive.

  14. 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…

  15. Ethological and experimental approaches to behavior analysis: implications for ecotoxicology.

    PubMed Central

    Cohn, J; MacPhail, R C

    1996-01-01

    Laboratory research in toxicology has progressed far beyond reliance on measures of mortality to make use of sophisticated behavioral preparations that can evaluate the consequences of sublethal toxicant exposure. In contrast, field studies have not evolved as rapidly. Approaches developed by experimental psychologists and ethologists provide powerful and complementary methodologies to the study of environmental pollutants and behavior. Observational data collection techniques can easily be used to broaden the number of questions addressed regarding sublethal exposure to toxic agents in both field and laboratory environments. This paper provides a background in such techniques, including construction of ethograms and observational methodologies, and the use of laboratory analogues to naturally occurring activities such as social behavior, predation, and foraging. Combining ethological and experimental approaches in behavior analysis can result in a more comprehensive evaluation of the effects of environmental contaminants on behavior. PMID:9182036

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. [Ethology of the Mediterranean blenny Blennius rouxi Cocco 1833].

    PubMed

    Heymer, A; de Ferret, C A

    1976-06-01

    The Mediterranean blenny Blennius rouxi has been studied mainly in the Banyuls-sur-Mer region. Data on its behaviour have been obtained by skin diving, SCUBA diving and observations in captivity. At Banyuls-sur-Mer Blennius rouxi lives at a depth of 1 to 42m. As an exception among Mediterranean blennies, Bl. rouxi feeds by grazing off the substrate. Algae, sponges and polychaetes (Sedentaria) are the main components of its food (HEYMER and ZANDER, in press). We could not confirm that the colouration, a white body with a conspicuous dark horizontal band, can be regarded as a signal of cleaning activity in statu nascendi. The male male have a spatial territory in which they occupy haptic holes. The female female lead a vagabond life and actively join the male male in their territories during the breeding season. Head nodding is an agonistic behaviour against other female female and has an attractive significance for spawning-motivated female female. The male male threaten with a widely opened mouth (threat yawning). Our data and observations on the ethology of Bl. rouxi are discussed and compared with those known of Bl. sphinx, Bl. incognitus, and Bl. zvonimiri, its nearest relatives.

  19. [Ethology and phylogeny of the family Belontiidae (Anabantoidei, pisces)].

    PubMed

    Vierke, J

    1975-09-01

    1. The behavioural patterns of the following species of the family Belontiidae were qualitatively examined and compared with each other: Colisa lalia, C. fasciata, C. chuna, Trichogaster trichopterus, T. leeri, T. microlepis, Macropodu, opercularis, Pseudosphromenus (Macropodus) cupanus cupanus, Betta splendens, Trichopsis pumilus, T. vittatus vittatus, T. vittatus schalleri, Belontia signata and the hybrids Colisa fasciata X lalia. 2. Among other points the paper puts some emphasis on the description of the reproductive behaviour of the various species (nest building, mating, parental behaviour). In addition aspects of feeding and fighting behaviour are described. 3. The subfamilies established by Liem (1963) on the basis of osteological characteristics can also be substantiated ethologically. 4. Liem's conception of the phylogeny of Belontiidae is criticized. His system conceiving phylogeny as a process of branching off successively is contrasted with a phylogenetic fan. The subfamilies Belontiinae, Trichogasterinae and Macropodinae differentiated almost at the same time. 5. The genus of Macropodus has a very isolated position within the sub-family of Macropodinae. The remaining genera are on a higher level of development regarding their reproductive behaviour. As a result of the paper Pseudosphromenus (Macropodus) cupanus has to be eliminated from the genus of Macropodus.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. EthoLog 2.2: a tool for the transcription and timing of behavior observation sessions.

    PubMed

    Ottoni, E B

    2000-08-01

    EthoLog is a tool that aids in the transcription and timing of behavior observation sessions--experimental or naturalistic, from video/audio tapes or registering real time. It was created with Visual Basic and runs on Windows (3.x/9x). The user types the key codes for the predefined behavioral categories, and EthoLog registers their sequence and timing and saves the resulting data in ASCII output files. A sequential analysis matrix can be generated from the sequential data. The output files may be edited, converted to plain text files for printing, or exported to a spreadsheet program, such as MS Excel, for further analyses.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Neural representations of ethologically relevant hand/mouth synergies in the human precentral gyrus.

    PubMed

    Desmurget, Michel; Richard, Nathalie; Harquel, Sylvain; Baraduc, Pierre; Szathmari, Alexandru; Mottolese, Carmine; Sirigu, Angela

    2014-04-15

    Complex motor responses are often thought to result from the combination of elemental movements represented at different neural sites. However, in monkeys, evidence indicates that some behaviors with critical ethological value, such as self-feeding, are represented as motor primitives in the precentral gyrus (PrG). In humans, such primitives have not yet been described. This could reflect well-known interspecies differences in the organization of sensorimotor regions (including PrG) or the difficulty of identifying complex neural representations in peroperative settings. To settle this alternative, we focused on the neural bases of hand/mouth synergies, a prominent example of human behavior with high ethological value. By recording motor- and somatosensory-evoked potentials in the PrG of patients undergoing brain surgery (2-60 y), we show that two complex nested neural representations can mediate hand/mouth actions within this structure: (i) a motor representation, resembling self-feeding, where electrical stimulation causes the closing hand to approach the opening mouth, and (ii) a motor-sensory representation, likely associated with perioral exploration, where cross-signal integration is accomplished at a cortical site that generates hand/arm actions while receiving mouth sensory inputs. The first finding extends to humans' previous observations in monkeys. The second provides evidence that complex neural representations also exist for perioral exploration, a finely tuned skill requiring the combination of motor and sensory signals within a common control loop. These representations likely underlie the ability of human children and newborns to accurately produce coordinated hand/mouth movements, in an otherwise general context of motor immaturity.

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. Ethological experiments on human orientation behavior within a three-dimensional space--in microgravity.

    PubMed

    Tafforin, C; Campan, R

    1994-01-01

    In weightlessness situation the subject has to realize domestic and professional tasks comparable to those performed under normal gravity, whereas the "body tool" available to him has been placed in new conditions which require significant behavioral changes. The loss of weight, the disappearance or modification of some ideothetic and allothetic cues, notably the absence of gravity for the body's referential verticality have the most obvious effect of diversifying the astronaut's orientations. The vertical position is thus no longer the only one possible. This means that in order to efficiently accomplish his tasks, the subject has to invent new motor strategies which transform the quality of displacements and manipulations on the basis of the new orientation possibilities in a three-dimensional space. The previous ethological studies have dealt, in a global way, with the astronaut's motor behavior in microgravity, revealed according to an exhaustive quantitative description of the behavioral manifestions as a whole in terms of movement, posture and orientation. We now propose focusing more specifically on his spatial behavior in a three-dimensional space in microgravity. Such a situation is an exceptional experimental paradigm since at every moment, the relationships of the body referential to the surrounding space are infinitely variable: a man in space has to extract, process or use spatial information between the referentials of his moving body in all directions of the three-dimensional space and the fixed referentials of the physical environment of the space habitat. Furthermore, in the temporal dynamics, the previous ethological results showed that the behavioral events change according to the duration of the space mission, passing through different adaptative stages from a large behavioral diversity to complete behavioral reorganization. On the first day of his space mission the astronaut has however acquired experience of microgravity through his training

  12. The father of ethology and the foster mother of ducks: Konrad Lorenz as expert on motherhood.

    PubMed

    Vicedo, Marga

    2009-06-01

    Konrad Lorenz's popularity in the United States has to be understood in the context of social concern about the mother-infant dyad after World War II. Child analysts David Levy, René Spitz, Margarethe Ribble, Therese Benedek, and John Bowlby argued that many psychopathologies were caused by a disruption in the mother-infant bond. Lorenz extended his work on imprinting to humans and argued that maternal care was also instinctual. The conjunction of psychoanalysis and ethology helped shore up the view that the mother-child dyad rests on an instinctual basis and is the cradle of personality formation. Amidst the Cold War emphasis on rebuilding an emotionally sound society, these views received widespread attention. Thus Lorenz built on the social relevance of psychoanalysis, while analysts gained legitimacy by drawing on the scientific authority of biology. Lorenz's work was central in a rising discourse that blamed the mother for emotional degeneration and helped him recast his eugenic fears in a socially acceptable way.

  13. 'Birdwatching and baby-watching': Niko and Elisabeth Tinbergen's ethological approach to autism.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Chloe

    2010-06-01

    Biographers have largely dismissed Nikolaas 'Niko' Tinbergen's late research into the causes and treatment of autism, describing it as a deviation from his previous work, influenced by his personal desires.They have pointed to the incoherence of Tinbergen's assertions about best practices for treating autism, his lack of experience with children with autism, and his apparent embracing of psychogenic theories that the medical research community had largely abandoned. While these critiques have value, it is significant that Tinbergen himself saw his research as a logical extension of his seminal findings in the field of ethology, the science of animal behaviour. The reception of his theories, both positive and negative, was due less to their strengths or faults than to the fact that Tinbergen had inserted himself into a pre-existing and acrimonious debate in the autism research community. Debates about the relative role of environmental and hereditary factors in the aetiology of autism, and the implications of both for the efficacy of different treatments, had political and material significance for the success of parent organizations' lobbying efforts and financial support for research programmes. Tinbergen's approach was welcomed and even championed by a significant minority, who saw no problem with his ideas or methods.

  14. Synthesis of ethological studies on behavioural adaptation of the astronaut to space flight conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tafforin, Carole

    The motor behaviour of the astronaut as revealed in his movement, posture and orientation is treated as observable evidence of the subject's adaptation to space flight conditions. In addition to the conservative physiological homeostasies, the quantitative description of the astronaut's motor activity in microgravity is postulated in terms of an innovative regulation, within a temporal dynamic. The proposed ethological method consists of first drawing up a specific behavioural repertoire and then of using video recordings of space missions to describe each of the behavioural units observed in the ongoing flux context in which it occurred. Finally the data is quantified into frequencies of occurrence, transition and association and completed with factorial correlation analysis. Comparison of ground training ( g = 1) and space flight ( g = 0) between the first and last day of a mission up to return to Earth gravity simulated by an anti-orthostatic decubitus experiment, reveals the nature of the adaptive strategies implemented. These strategies are evidence of changes in the behavioural repertoire including the search for predominantly visual environmental cues and the progression of motor skill during the flight. The pre-flight period is defined as a phase involving automizing of motor patterns and the post-flight period as rehabituation of strategies which have already been acquired. The phenomena observed are discussed in terms of the new spatial representation and the body image, constructed by the astronaut during his adaptation. They are considered to be optimizing for the subject's relation to his environment.

  15. The father of ethology and the foster mother of ducks: Konrad Lorenz as expert on motherhood.

    PubMed

    Vicedo, Marga

    2009-06-01

    Konrad Lorenz's popularity in the United States has to be understood in the context of social concern about the mother-infant dyad after World War II. Child analysts David Levy, René Spitz, Margarethe Ribble, Therese Benedek, and John Bowlby argued that many psychopathologies were caused by a disruption in the mother-infant bond. Lorenz extended his work on imprinting to humans and argued that maternal care was also instinctual. The conjunction of psychoanalysis and ethology helped shore up the view that the mother-child dyad rests on an instinctual basis and is the cradle of personality formation. Amidst the Cold War emphasis on rebuilding an emotionally sound society, these views received widespread attention. Thus Lorenz built on the social relevance of psychoanalysis, while analysts gained legitimacy by drawing on the scientific authority of biology. Lorenz's work was central in a rising discourse that blamed the mother for emotional degeneration and helped him recast his eugenic fears in a socially acceptable way. PMID:19653490

  16. Disruption of exploratory and habituation behavior in mice with mutation of DISC1: an ethologically based analysis.

    PubMed

    Walsh, J; Desbonnet, L; Clarke, N; Waddington, J L; O'Tuathaigh, C M P

    2012-07-01

    Disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) is a gene that has been functionally linked with neurodevelopmental processes and structural plasticity in the brain. Clinical genetic investigations have implicated DISC1 as a genetic risk factor for schizophrenia and related psychoses. Studies using mutant mouse models of DISC1 gene function have demonstrated schizophrenia-related anatomical and behavioral endophenotypes. In the present study, ethologically based assessment of exploratory and habituation behavior in the open field was conducted in DISC1 (L100P), wild-type (WT), heterozygous (HET), and homozygous (HOM) mutant mice of both sexes. Ethological assessment was conducted in an open-field environment to explore specific topographies of murine exploratory behavior across the extended course of interaction from initial exploration through subsequent habituation (the ethogram). During initial exploration, HET and HOM DISC1 mutants evidenced increased levels of locomotion and rearing to wall compared with WT. A HOM-specific increase in total rearing and a HET-specific increase in sifting behavior and reduction in rearing seated were also observed. Over subsequent habituation, locomotion, sniffing, total rearing, rearing to wall, rearing free, and rearing seated were increased in HET and HOM mutants vs. WT. Overall, grooming was increased in HOM relative to other genotypes. HET mice displayed a selective decrease in habituation of sifting behavior. These data demonstrate impairment in both initial exploratory and habituation of exploration in a novel environment in mice with mutation of DISC1. This is discussed in the context of the functional role of the gene vis à vis a schizophrenia phenotype as well as the value of ethologically based approaches to behavioral phenotyping.

  17. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    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. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Communication Sounds and the Brain: New Directions and Perspectives".

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The role of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) in the global development of animal welfare science and its relationship with the OIE; strength through partnership

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this presentation is to introduce the ISAE and to highlight members’ roles in the development and implementation of OIE’s animal welfare standards. Animal welfare science is a young discipline. Originally, welfare science was heavily focused on animal behavior (ethology), but it is ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Interest towards human, animal and object in children with autism spectrum disorders: an ethological approach at home.

    PubMed

    Grandgeorge, Marine; Bourreau, Yannig; Alavi, Zarrin; Lemonnier, Eric; Tordjman, Sylvie; Deleau, Michel; Hausberger, Martine

    2015-01-01

    Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterised by attention deficits in communication and social interactions and a lack of interest in people. Data are mostly based on clinical situations. However, recent studies have shown a more mixed situation where children with ASD (ASD children) displayed interest towards humans, in both experimental and natural settings. The aim of this study was to assess the interest of ASD children in a natural standardised home setting. Here, we hypothesised that ASD children would display more interest towards animate stimuli-human and pet-when in the child's home than in the lab experimental setting. We used an ethological approach involving observations, a methodological alternative to lab static techniques, to investigate the behaviour of ninety 6- to 12-year-old ASD and typical development (TD) children. Our results were consistent with those of the literature revealing that the ASD children displayed interest towards animate stimuli as did children with TD children. Interestingly, while the ASD children showed higher interest towards humans, e.g. their parent, than the TD children did, they showed less interest towards pet compared to the TD children. Our results suggested that animals are not inherently easy to decode for ASD children, in contrast with previous experiences where a pet was regarded as a more attractive partner, easier to be understood. At last, the ASD children changed more frequently their focus point than the TD children did. These differences may be explained by the reduced attention skills in ASD or the study's context. To conclude, larger exploratory studies in natural settings conducted beyond ordinary human to human interactions are crucial for better understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved in social interactions in ASD.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Cross-centre replication of suppressed burrowing behaviour as an ethologically relevant pain outcome measure in the rat: a prospective multicentre study

    PubMed Central

    Wodarski, Rachel; Delaney, Ada; Ultenius, Camilla; Morland, Rosie; Andrews, Nick; Baastrup, Catherine; Bryden, Luke A.; Caspani, Ombretta; Christoph, Thomas; Gardiner, Natalie J.; Huang, Wenlong; Kennedy, Jeffrey D.; Koyama, Suguru; Li, Dominic; Ligocki, Marcin; Lindsten, Annika; Machin, Ian; Pekcec, Anton; Robens, Angela; Rotariu, Sanziana M.; Voß, Sabrina; Segerdahl, Marta; Stenfors, Carina; Svensson, Camilla I.; Treede, Rolf-Detlef; Uto, Katsuhiro; Yamamoto, Kazumi; Rutten, Kris; Rice, Andrew S.C.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Burrowing, an ethologically relevant rodent behaviour, has been proposed as a novel outcome measure to assess the global impact of pain in rats. In a prospective multicentre study using male rats (Wistar, Sprague-Dawley), replication of suppressed burrowing behaviour in the complete Freund adjuvant (CFA)-induced model of inflammatory pain (unilateral, 1 mg/mL in 100 µL) was evaluated in 11 studies across 8 centres. Following a standard protocol, data from participating centres were collected centrally and analysed with a restricted maximum likelihood-based mixed model for repeated measures. The total population (TP—all animals allocated to treatment; n = 249) and a selected population (SP—TP animals burrowing over 500 g at baseline; n = 200) were analysed separately, assessing the effect of excluding “poor” burrowers. Mean baseline burrowing across studies was 1113 g (95% confidence interval: 1041-1185 g) for TP and 1329 g (1271-1387 g) for SP. Burrowing was significantly suppressed in the majority of studies 24 hours (7 studies/population) and 48 hours (7 TP, 6 SP) after CFA injections. Across all centres, significantly suppressed burrowing peaked 24 hours after CFA injections, with a burrowing deficit of −374 g (−479 to −269 g) for TP and −498 g (−609 to −386 g) for SP. This unique multicentre approach first provided high-quality evidence evaluating suppressed burrowing as robust and reproducible, supporting its use as tool to infer the global effect of pain on rodents. Second, our approach provided important informative value for the use of multicentre studies in the future. PMID:27643836

  13. 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.

  14. Cross-centre replication of suppressed burrowing behaviour as an ethologically relevant pain outcome measure in the rat: a prospective multicentre study.

    PubMed

    Wodarski, Rachel; Delaney, Ada; Ultenius, Camilla; Morland, Rosie; Andrews, Nick; Baastrup, Catherine; Bryden, Luke A; Caspani, Ombretta; Christoph, Thomas; Gardiner, Natalie J; Huang, Wenlong; Kennedy, Jeffrey D; Koyama, Suguru; Li, Dominic; Ligocki, Marcin; Lindsten, Annika; Machin, Ian; Pekcec, Anton; Robens, Angela; Rotariu, Sanziana M; Vo, Sabrina; Segerdahl, Marta; Stenfors, Carina; Svensson, Camilla I; Treede, Rolf-Detlef; Uto, Katsuhiro; Yamamoto, Kazumi; Rutten, Kris; Rice, Andrew S C

    2016-10-01

    Burrowing, an ethologically relevant rodent behaviour, has been proposed as a novel outcome measure to assess the global impact of pain in rats. In a prospective multicentre study using male rats (Wistar, Sprague-Dawley), replication of suppressed burrowing behaviour in the complete Freund adjuvant (CFA)-induced model of inflammatory pain (unilateral, 1 mg/mL in 100 µL) was evaluated in 11 studies across 8 centres. Following a standard protocol, data from participating centres were collected centrally and analysed with a restricted maximum likelihood-based mixed model for repeated measures. The total population (TP-all animals allocated to treatment; n = 249) and a selected population (SP-TP animals burrowing over 500 g at baseline; n = 200) were analysed separately, assessing the effect of excluding "poor" burrowers. Mean baseline burrowing across studies was 1113 g (95% confidence interval: 1041-1185 g) for TP and 1329 g (1271-1387 g) for SP. Burrowing was significantly suppressed in the majority of studies 24 hours (7 studies/population) and 48 hours (7 TP, 6 SP) after CFA injections. Across all centres, significantly suppressed burrowing peaked 24 hours after CFA injections, with a burrowing deficit of -374 g (-479 to -269 g) for TP and -498 g (-609 to -386 g) for SP. This unique multicentre approach first provided high-quality evidence evaluating suppressed burrowing as robust and reproducible, supporting its use as tool to infer the global effect of pain on rodents. Second, our approach provided important informative value for the use of multicentre studies in the future.

  15. Cross-centre replication of suppressed burrowing behaviour as an ethologically relevant pain outcome measure in the rat: a prospective multicentre study.

    PubMed

    Wodarski, Rachel; Delaney, Ada; Ultenius, Camilla; Morland, Rosie; Andrews, Nick; Baastrup, Catherine; Bryden, Luke A; Caspani, Ombretta; Christoph, Thomas; Gardiner, Natalie J; Huang, Wenlong; Kennedy, Jeffrey D; Koyama, Suguru; Li, Dominic; Ligocki, Marcin; Lindsten, Annika; Machin, Ian; Pekcec, Anton; Robens, Angela; Rotariu, Sanziana M; Vo, Sabrina; Segerdahl, Marta; Stenfors, Carina; Svensson, Camilla I; Treede, Rolf-Detlef; Uto, Katsuhiro; Yamamoto, Kazumi; Rutten, Kris; Rice, Andrew S C

    2016-10-01

    Burrowing, an ethologically relevant rodent behaviour, has been proposed as a novel outcome measure to assess the global impact of pain in rats. In a prospective multicentre study using male rats (Wistar, Sprague-Dawley), replication of suppressed burrowing behaviour in the complete Freund adjuvant (CFA)-induced model of inflammatory pain (unilateral, 1 mg/mL in 100 µL) was evaluated in 11 studies across 8 centres. Following a standard protocol, data from participating centres were collected centrally and analysed with a restricted maximum likelihood-based mixed model for repeated measures. The total population (TP-all animals allocated to treatment; n = 249) and a selected population (SP-TP animals burrowing over 500 g at baseline; n = 200) were analysed separately, assessing the effect of excluding "poor" burrowers. Mean baseline burrowing across studies was 1113 g (95% confidence interval: 1041-1185 g) for TP and 1329 g (1271-1387 g) for SP. Burrowing was significantly suppressed in the majority of studies 24 hours (7 studies/population) and 48 hours (7 TP, 6 SP) after CFA injections. Across all centres, significantly suppressed burrowing peaked 24 hours after CFA injections, with a burrowing deficit of -374 g (-479 to -269 g) for TP and -498 g (-609 to -386 g) for SP. This unique multicentre approach first provided high-quality evidence evaluating suppressed burrowing as robust and reproducible, supporting its use as tool to infer the global effect of pain on rodents. Second, our approach provided important informative value for the use of multicentre studies in the future. PMID:27643836

  16. PCP-induced deficits in murine nest building activity: employment of an ethological rodent behavior to mimic negative-like symptoms of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Christian Spang; Sørensen, Dorte Bratbo; Parachikova, Anna I; Plath, Niels

    2014-10-15

    Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder characterized by three symptom domains, positive (hallucinations, obsession), negative (social withdrawal, apathy, self-neglect) and cognitive (impairment in attention, memory and executive function). Whereas current medication ameliorates positive symptomatology, negative symptoms as well as cognitive dysfunctions remain untreated. The development of improved therapies for negative symptoms has proven particularly difficult, in part due to the inability of mimicking these in rodents. Here, we address the predictive validity of combining an ethologically well preserved behavior in rodents, namely nest building activity, with an established animal model of schizophrenia, the sub-chronic PCP model, for negative symptoms. Decline in rodent nesting activity has been suggested to mirror domains of negative symptoms of schizophrenia, including social withdrawal, anhedonia and self-neglect, whereas repeated treatment with the NMDAR antagonist PCP induces and exacerbates schizophrenia-like symptoms in rodents and human subjects. Using a back-translational approach of pharmacological validation, we tested the effects of two agents targeting the nicotinic α7 receptor (EVP-6124 and TC-5619) that were reported to exert some beneficial effect on negative symptoms in schizophrenic patients. Sub-chronic PCP treatment resulted in a significant nest building deficit in mice and treatment with EVP-6124 and TC-5619 reversed this PCP-induced deficit. In contrast, the atypical antipsychotic drug risperidone remained ineffective in this assay. In addition, EVP-6124, TC-5619 and risperidone were tested in the Social Interaction Test (SIT), an assay suggested to address negative-like symptoms. Results obtained in SIT were comparable to results in the nest building test (NEST). Based on these findings, we propose nest building in combination with the sub-chronic PCP model as a novel approach to assess negative-like symptoms of schizophrenia

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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)

  20. 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;…

  1. 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)

  2. Darwin's legacy to comparative psychology and ethology.

    PubMed

    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; communication; sexual selection and courtship; comparative cognition; emotion; instinct and behavioral development; inheritance of behavior; phylogeny of behavior; sociobiology and behavioral ecology; and applied animal behavior, animal welfare, and conservation. Several newer emphases that Darwin anticipated are briefly discussed. Darwin, while not always correct by current standards, crucially aided the process of firmly embedding psychological phenomena in a naturalistic scientific ethos.

  3. [The phylogeny, ethology and nosology of yawning].

    PubMed

    Walusinski, O; Deputte, B L

    2004-11-01

    Charles Darwin would have said that yawning was a useless piece of physiology. If so, then how should the survival of this very stereotyped behavior among the poikilothermal and homoeothermic vertebrates, from the basic brained reptiles to human primates, whether in the air, on the land or in the sea be understand? This issue of the ethnological, neurophysiologic and neuropsychological literature depicts yawning as being associated with an alternation of "awake-sleep" rhythms, sexuality, and nutrition, where it appears as a reference behavior of the mechanisms stimulating the state of vigilance. In pharmacology, yawning is used as an indicator of dopamine-ocytocinergic pathway activity, but in the Parkinson patient the neurologist sees it as an expression of therapeutic dopaminergic activity. J.M. Charcot and his school considered yawning as a clinical sign, long since forgotten. However, many patients complain about excessive yawning. Iatrogenic causes are the most frequent and can be found among many neurological diseases: vasovagal syncope, migraine, epilepsy, hypophyseal tumor, or stroke. Our ability to achieve motor and emotional behavior in resonance with others is deeply rooted in hominid evolution, and probably explains the strange phenomenon of contagious yawning.

  4. Experimental-Ethological Studies of Social Reinforcement in Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paris, Scott G.; Cairns, Robert B.

    The effectiveness of positive and negative evaluative comments for children's learning was assessed in a two-choice discrimination task. Results indicate that negative comments after incorrect responses greatly facilitated learning while positive comments after correct responses had little effect. To explain the findings, a naturalistic analysis…

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Modulation spectra of natural sounds and ethological theories of auditory processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Nandini C.; Theunissen, Frédéric E.

    2003-12-01

    The modulation statistics of natural sound ensembles were analyzed by calculating the probability distributions of the amplitude envelope of the sounds and their time-frequency correlations given by the modulation spectra. These modulation spectra were obtained by calculating the two-dimensional Fourier transform of the autocorrelation matrix of the sound stimulus in its spectrographic representation. Since temporal bandwidth and spectral bandwidth are conjugate variables, it is shown that the joint modulation spectrum of sound occupies a restricted space: sounds cannot have rapid temporal and spectral modulations simultaneously. Within this restricted space, it is shown that natural sounds have a characteristic signature. Natural sounds, in general, are low-passed, showing most of their modulation energy for low temporal and spectral modulations. Animal vocalizations and human speech are further characterized by the fact that most of the spectral modulation power is found only for low temporal modulation. Similarly, the distribution of the amplitude envelopes also exhibits characteristic shapes for natural sounds, reflecting the high probability of epochs with no sound, systematic differences across frequencies, and a relatively uniform distribution for the log of the amplitudes for vocalizations. It is postulated that the auditory system as well as engineering applications may exploit these statistical properties to obtain an efficient representation of behaviorally relevant sounds. To test such a hypothesis we show how to create synthetic sounds with first and second order envelope statistics identical to those found in natural sounds.

  9. Perception, expression, and social function of pain: a human ethological view.

    PubMed

    Schiefenhövel, W

    1995-01-01

    Pain has important biomedical, socioanthropological, semiotic, and other facets. In this contribution pain and the expression of pain are looked at from the perspective of evolutionary biology, utilizing, among others, cross-cultural data from field work in Melanesia. No other being cares for sick and suffering conspecifics in the way humans do. Notwithstanding aggression and neglect, common in all cultures, human societies can be characterized as empathic, comforting, and promoting the health and sell-being of their members. One important stimulus triggering this caring response in others is the expression of pain. The nonverbal channel of communication, particularly certain universal--i.e., culture-independent facial expressions, gestures, and body postures, convey much of the message from the pain-stricken person to the group. These behaviors signal the person's physical and psychical pain, sadness, grief, and despair in ways very similar to the signs given by infants and small children: the body loses tonus and sinks or drops to the ground, the gestures are those of helplessness. Pain and grief may be so strong that control is lost not only over the body's posture but also over the mind's awareness. In such cases the afflicted person may carry out actions endangering himself or others. In general, these behavior patterns resemble those of infants in situations of distress and danger, and it is not surprising that the response of the members of the group is basically parental: taking care, assisting and consoling. Perceptive and behavioral patterns which developed in the course of avian and mammalian phylogeny to serve the well-being of the young have proven, as was shown by Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1989), to be powerful building blocks for actions in other spheres of human interaction. Love is one such field, the reactions to a conspecific suffering pain is another. PMID:11639659

  10. 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.

  11. The Emergence of Same-Sex Affiliative Preferences among Preschool Peers: A Developmental/Ethological Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    La Freniere, Peter; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Systematic observations of affiliative interaction in 15 stable peer groups were conducted across three years in an urban day care center. Groups contained 193 French-speaking children ranging in age from one to six years. (Author/RH)

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Neurons in the Amygdala with Response-Selectivity for Anxiety in Two Ethologically Based Tests

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Dong V.; Wang, Fang; Liu, Jun; Zhang, Lu; Wang, Zhiru; Lin, Longnian

    2011-01-01

    The amygdala is a key area in the brain for detecting potential threats or dangers, and further mediating anxiety. However, the neuronal mechanisms of anxiety in the amygdala have not been well characterized. Here we report that in freely-behaving mice, a group of neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) fires tonically under anxiety conditions in both open-field and elevated plus-maze tests. The firing patterns of these neurons displayed a characteristic slow onset and progressively increased firing rates. Specifically, these firing patterns were correlated to a gradual development of anxiety-like behaviors in the open-field test. Moreover, these neurons could be activated by any impoverished environment similar to an open-field; and introduction of both comfortable and uncomfortable stimuli temporarily suppressed the activity of these BLA neurons. Importantly, the excitability of these BLA neurons correlated well with levels of anxiety. These results demonstrate that this type of BLA neuron is likely to represent anxiety and/or emotional values of anxiety elicited by anxiogenic environmental stressors. PMID:21494567

  15. An ethological analysis of human infant crying: answering Tinbergen's four questions.

    PubMed

    Zeifman, D M

    2001-12-01

    The proximate causes, survival value, ontogeny, and evolutionary history of human infant crying are examined. Experiments and field observations involving infant distress vocalizations and begging calls in avian, mammalian, and nonhuman primate species are considered, as are ethnographic records of infant care and responses to crying in nonindustrialized societies. It is argued that human infant crying evolved as a primarily acoustic, graded signal, that it is a fairly reliable, if imperfect, indicator of need for parental care and that its primary function is to promote parental caregiving. Selection pressures that may have shaped the evolution of crying and its potential for corruption through dishonesty also are discussed.

  16. 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…

  17. Darwinism and ethology. The role of natural selection in animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Gervet, J; Soleilhavoup, M

    1997-11-01

    The role of behaviour in biological evolution is examined within the context of Darwinism. All Darwinian models are based on the distinction of two mechanisms: one that permits faithful transmission of a feature from one generation to another, and another that differentially regulates the degree of this transmission. Behaviour plays a minimal role as an agent of transmission in the greater part of the animal kingdom; by contrast, the forms it may assume strongly influence the mechanisms of selection regulating the different rates of transmission. We consider the decisive feature of the human species to be the existence of a phenotypical system of cultural coding characterized by precision and reliability which are the distinctive feature of genetic coding in animals. We examine the consequences for the application of the Darwinian model to human history.

  18. Premature infant behavior: an ethological study in a special care nursery.

    PubMed

    Newman, L F

    1986-01-01

    The Social and Sensory Environment Studies of very low birthweight infants have quantified the amount and quality of social interaction with staff and parents and described the sound environment in an incubator. The present study concerns preterm infant behavior and reactions to these stimuli with particular reference to approach and withdrawal and vocalization. Among the findings are that while intermittent vocalization increases, infant cry decreases over the first three weeks in the incubator. Approach activities take place with some consistency whereas withdrawal differs from child to child. The ethnographic focus on interactive components of the intensive care experience documents the process of intersubjective development for the purpose of locating and isolating points of vulnerability in language and cognitive skills of infants born at very low birthweight.

  19. The importance of ethology in understanding the behaviour of the horse.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, D

    1999-04-01

    Domestication has provided the horse with food, shelter, veterinary care and protection, allowing individuals an increased chance of survival. However, the restriction of movement, limited breeding opportunities and a requirement to expend energy, for the benefit of another species, conflict with the evolutionary processes which shaped the behaviour of its predecessors. The behaviour of the horse is defined by its niche as a social prey species but many of the traits which ensured the survival of its ancestors are difficult to accommodate in the domestic environment. There has been a long association between horses and man and many features of equine behaviour suggest a predisposition to interspecific cooperation. However, the importance of dominance in human understanding of social systems has tended to overemphasize its importance in the human-horse relationship. The evolving horse-human relationship from predation to companionship, has resulted in serial conflicts of interest for equine and human participants. Only by understanding the nature and origin of these conflicts can ethologists encourage equine management practices which minimise deleterious effects on the behaviour of the horse.

  20. From the ethology of unicellular eukaryotes to the locomotion of the living beings: meaning and evolution of the phenomenon.

    PubMed

    Banchetti, Rosalba

    2005-01-01

    A comparative reappraisal of the general problem of evolutionary trends and constraints of the locomotion phenomenon from prokaryotes to protozoa to metazoa was carried on. They elaborated different propulsive systems, different control systems of motion and different analysis systems of the stimuli. A general understanding of the locomotion phenomenon was reached and ciliate behaviour was positioned within the wider context of the evolution of biological displacement.

  1. [Ethological basis for the evaluation of animal welfare in housing systems for agricultural animals and laboratory animals].

    PubMed

    Stauffacher, M

    1992-01-01

    The Swiss Federal Act on Animal Protection (1978) requires the sale of mass-produced housing systems for farm animals to be authorized by the Federal Veterinary Office. Authorization is only granted for housing systems that safeguard the animals' welfare. A concept for the assessment of Animal Welfare has to provide a high forensic value. The capacity of farm animals to adapt to an intensive housing system can be directly examined, whereas the existence and extent of subjective feelings can only be assumed. In our concept the examination focuses on the interaction of individuals with their artificial environment. The main question is whether or not the individuals are able to cope with given nonspecific (e.g. temperature, humidity) and specific (e.g. drinking troughs, behaviour of conspecifics) stimuli in order to reach the immediate (e.g. drinking, make way for) and ultimate (survival, reproduction success) goals. Animals of the same breed are observed in a highly diverse environment in order to determine normal behaviour. Whether behavioural expressions which differ significantly from normal behaviour are adaptive to the restrictive housing conditions is judged by the behaviours' consequences for both, the individuals and the environment. Many studies prove the concept's high forensic value and the authorities prefer conclusions based on this concept to others referring to the animals' motivational and emotional state. However more research has to be done with respect to animal welfare in farm and laboratory animal breeding as well as in the use of laboratory animals for experimental studies.

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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 Central

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 75 FR 1397 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-11

    ... Committee: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience Integrated Review Group; Molecular... Integrated Review Group; Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology Study Section. Date: February...

  8. 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)

  9. 75 FR 26261 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-11

    ... Committee: Emerging Technologies and Training Neurosciences Integrated Review Group; Molecular Neurogenetics... Regulation, Learning and Ethology. Date: June 4, 2010. Time: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate... Panel; ARRA: Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology Competitive Revisions. Date: June 4,...

  10. 76 FR 1444 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-10

    ... Committee: Integrative, Functional and Cognitive Neuroscience Integrated Review Group, Sensorimotor... Special Emphasis Panel, Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology. Date: February 4, 2011. Time: 10.... (301) 435- 1171. rosenl@csr.nih.gov . Name of Committee: Brain Disorders and Clinical...

  11. 76 FR 24891 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-03

    ... . Name of Committee: Emerging Technologies and Training Neurosciences Integrated Review Group. Molecular... Committee: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience Integrated Review Group, Neurotransporters... Review Group, Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology Study Section. Date: June 9, 2011. Time:...

  12. 78 FR 59361 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-26

    ... . Name of Committee: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience Integrated Review Group; Cellular... Regulation, Learning and Ethology Study Section. Date: October 21-22, 2013. Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00...

  13. 76 FR 28793 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-18

    ..., Learning and Ethology. Date: June 8, 2011. Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant....lindner@csr.nih.gov . Name of Committee: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience...

  14. [The role of behavioral science in animal welfare in teaching and practical application].

    PubMed

    Stephan, E

    1990-06-01

    This paper gives an introduction on the importance of ethology as a basis for the ethical animal welfare. The last edition of the Animal Welfare Act of the Federal Republic of Germany is based on the ethological principle which includes, that the animal must be free to satisfy its needs and preserve itself from damage by using of adequate behavioural patterns. With the help of observing animal behaviour the veterinarian can remark faults in the animal management before pain, suffering or injuries set it. So the importance of the ethology in the system of veterinary education is clear. Pertinent information shall promote the dialogue between scientists working in the field of animal behaviour and people engaged in animal welfare.

  15. Clinical aspects of reptile behavior.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Divers, S J

    2001-09-01

    At first glance, the abstract world of reptile ethology may seem remote to clinicians dealing with the health and disease of captive animals. By delving a little deeper, however, veterinarians can learn to appreciate the reasons for certain behaviors and actually use these behaviors as indicators of various biologic states. Close scrutiny of subtle changes in behavior can further help assess reptile well-being and judge captive welfare. In the future, it is hoped that improved ethologic understanding will result in behavioral enrichment for reptiles, as is already promoted for many nondomestic mammals and birds.

  16. Taking a real look at social attention.

    PubMed

    Kingstone, Alan

    2009-02-01

    The eyes of others are important to us, and we care about where they are directed. Lab-based studies often fail to capture this intuition because the studies are so simple and controlled that the situational complexity that is critical to social attention is lost. A research approach called cognitive ethology begins its investigation at the level of naturally occurring phenomena before moving into the lab. In doing so one can maintain the link between lab research and the phenomena it seeks to understand. Instances of lab failures that are offset by a cognitive ethology approach are presented and discussed.

  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. 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…

  19. 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.…

  20. Teaching as an exaptation.

    PubMed

    Smaldino, Paul E; Newton, Emily K

    2015-01-01

    We appreciate and endorse Kline's ethological taxonomy and its application. However, the definition of teaching she presents is problematic, as it replaces mentalistic intent with intention on the part of natural selection. We discuss problems with the strict adaptationist view and suggest instead that the five forms of teaching presented in the taxonomy may constitute exaptations rather than adaptations. PMID:26785704

  1. 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.…

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. 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…

  5. 75 FR 56115 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-15

    ..., Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology Study Section. Date: October 7-8, 2010. Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m... Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and... Neuroscience Integrated Review Group, Biophysics of Neural Systems Study Section. Date: October 14, 2010....

  6. 77 FR 61009 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-05

    ... Regulation, Learning and Ethology. Date: October 29, 2012. Time: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Agenda: To review and... Emphasis Panel; Review of Neuroscience AREA Grant Applications. Date: November 1-2, 2012. Time: 8 a.m. to...

  7. 77 FR 15113 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-14

    ... Conflict: Integrative Neuroscience. Date: March 28, 2012. Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Agenda: To review and...: Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology. Date: April 4, 2012. Time: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Agenda: To...

  8. 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)

  9. Aggression and Dominance Relations in Young Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missakian, Elizabeth; Hamer, Karen

    This study is an attempt to apply ethological tools of observation and analysis to the social behavior of 25 communally-reared children, ages 6 months to 4 years. The focus of this analysis is aggression and dominance relations. Findings indicate that: (1) agonistic behavior reveals stable and linear dominance hierarchies for children from 6…

  10. Dominance Hierarchies in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edelman, Murray S.; Omark, Donald R.

    1973-01-01

    This study uses the ethological approach of seeking species characteristics and phylogenetic continuities in an investigation of human behavior. Among primates a striking consistency is the presence of some form of dominance hierarchy in many species. The present study examines peer group dominance hierarchies as they are perceived by children in…

  11. 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…

  12. [Some adaptations of Monodonta turbinata (born, 1780) (Gastropoda, Prosobranchia, Trochidae) to feeding and habitation in the littoral zone].

    PubMed

    Aliakrinskaia, I O

    2010-01-01

    The basic morphological, ethological, and physiological-biochemical adaptations of Monodonta turbinata to survival in the littoral zone were investigated in this work. Quantitative estimation of myoglobin content in radular tissues of mollusks inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea Basin has been carried out.

  13. 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…

  14. Emotional Development. Student Readings No. 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bretherton, Diane

    This paper provides a broad perspective on theories of emotional development and evaluates the implications of different theories for the practicing teacher. Not only psychoanalytic theories but also many theories of emotion contribute to the understanding of children. For example, behaviorist, experimental, ethological, humanist, developmental,…

  15. 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…

  16. Pets, Attachment, and Well-Being across the Life Cycle.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sable, Pat

    1995-01-01

    Using an ethological framework, explores the ways in which family pets, in particular dogs and cats, provide certain components of attachment that contribute to emotional and social well-being throughout the life cycle. Implications are identified for social policies that will protect and maintain this bond for particular populations. (RJM)

  17. [Annual activity cycle of ants parasited with Dicrocoelium lanceolatum (Rudolphi, 1819) metacercaria (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Badie, A

    1975-01-01

    The object of this study is to predict the period of appearance and the amount of risk of fluke parasitism in Limousin sheep flocks. A perfect knowledge of the ethology of ants parasited with metacercaria (definitive source of host infestation) is necessary. The particular behavior of these vector insects has been only little studied.

  18. "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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Sociology in the context of social psychiatry.

    PubMed

    Cooper, B

    1994-01-01

    The author addresses various aspects of the interface between sociology and social psychiatry, among them the labelling process related to mental deviance, problems related to diagnosis and social ethology. The need for interdisciplinary work is emphasized, not least in the context of prevention. It is underlined that effective preventive measures can precede the full causal elucidation of a disease.

  2. 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…

  3. Attachment: Theoretical Development and Critique

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slater, Ruth

    2007-01-01

    Zeanah argues that ethological attachment theory, as outlined by John Bowlby, has provided one of the most important frameworks for understanding crucial risk and protective factors in social and emotional development. However, although attachment theory and the notion of attachment disorders have influenced such initiatives, many psychologists,…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.…

  6. [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

  7. Attachment theory: a biological basis for psychotherapy?

    PubMed

    Holmes, J

    1993-10-01

    John Bowlby bemoaned the separation between the biological and psychological approaches in psychiatry, and hoped that attachment theory, which brings together psychoanalysis and the science of ethology, would help bridge the rift between them. Recent findings in developmental psychology have delineated features of parent-infant interaction, especially responsiveness, attunement, and modulation of affect, which lead to either secure or insecure attachment. Similar principles can be applied to the relationship between psychotherapist and patient--the provision of a secure base, the emergence of a shared narrative ('autobiographical competence'), the processing of affect, coping with loss--these are common to most effective psychotherapies and provide the basis for a new interpersonal paradigm within psychotherapy. Attachment theory suggests they rest on a sound ethological and hence biological foundation.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Norman Cousins Lecture. The uses and abuses of psychoneuroimmunology: a global overview.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Nicholas

    2006-03-01

    Studies of interactions between the nervous and immune systems that effect immunological and behavioral changes are relevant to our understanding biological issues pertinent to evolution, ethology, ecology, and aging, in addition to our understanding the immune and nervous systems per se. Psychoneuroimmunology also relates to homeland security, science education, and the practice of conventional as well as complementary and alternative medicine. This paper will highlight just some of these global implications of psychoneuroimmunology.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. [An objective of the education of mankind: delegated destructiveness. Mass murder of psychiatric patients in Hitler Germany].

    PubMed

    Scharfetter, C

    1984-01-01

    The extermination of 100,000 inpatients of mental hospitals and 5,000 mentally retarded children in NAZI-Germany under the Hitler régime between 1939 and 1941 is reported. The ideological precursors of these actions are traced. The ethological and anthropological aspects of inner-species destruction in the phylogenesis of mankind are traced. Psychological and social conditions of social destructiveness under "normal" and exceptional conditions are discussed and the consequences for education drawn.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. An introduction to comparative evolutionary psychology.

    PubMed

    Vonk, Jennifer; Shackelford, Todd K

    2013-07-18

    Previously we (Vonk and Shackelford, 2012, in press) proposed an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology into a new field of "comparative evolutionary psychology." This integrative discipline incorporates principles from ethology, ecology, biology, anthropology, and psychology, broadly defined. We present in this special issue a collection of original empirical and theoretical review articles in which leading researchers propose ways to successfully integrate comparative and evolutionary approaches within their particular areas of study. We showcase the key contributions of these articles and highlight several empirical and theoretical challenges, as well as key future directions, for comparative evolutionary psychology.

  17. Collective behaviour across animal species.

    PubMed

    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

  18. 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

  19. Sex-Partner Roles in Homoerotic Relations: An Attempt of Classification.

    PubMed

    Kowalski, Jerzy Adam

    2016-01-01

    The attempt is made to initially arrange in the terms of methodology the area of the research on partner roles in homoerotic relations. These issues have been noticed very early in human history (e.g., different roles performed or bimodal polarization), but only recently has science become interested in this subject. It is suggested to cover all such roles by the term sex-partner roles (SPR) instead of various other terms used and to classify them according to the ethological evolutionary approach into the appetitive and consummatory SPR. Further details of the division are discussed, and the utility of such classification is marked. PMID:26244248

  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. 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.

  2. 'Standing on the shoulders of giants' at the ISAE international congress.

    PubMed

    2016-09-17

    The 50th anniversary of the International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) was celebrated in July, with the return of its annual international congress to Edinburgh, the city where the society was founded in 1966. Scientific legacy was a prevalent topic at the meeting, in line with the congress theme: standing on the shoulders of giants. The event was the biggest in the ISAE's history, spanning five days, from July 12 to 16, and comprising almost 200 talks. Rachel Orritt reflects on proceedings. PMID:27634858

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Anxiety and anxiety disorders. Toward a conceptual reorientation.

    PubMed

    Curtis, G C

    1985-03-01

    Traditionally, it has been assumed that there is only one type of anxiety; recent pharmacologic evidence suggests that there may be several. The psychoanalytic concept of "neurotic" symptoms as depressurizing mechanisms is out of keeping with most evidence now available. Spontaneous or "free-floating" anxiety may be partly biologic and genetic in origin. Anxiety symptoms evoked by specific stimuli behave in part like conditioned responses. Where conditioning theory has failed to propose a plausible unconditioned stimulus for pathologic anxiety, biology, ethology, and psychoanalysis may have been more successful.

  6. Wind spectra and the response of the cercal system in the cockroach.

    PubMed

    Rinberg, D; Davidowitz, H

    2003-12-01

    Experiments on the cercal wind-sensing system of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, showed that the firing rate of the interneurons coding wind information depends on the bandwidth of random noise wind stimuli. The firing rate was shown to increase with decreases in the stimulus bandwidth, and be independent of changes in the total power of the stimulus with constant spectral composition. A detailed analysis of ethologically relevant stimulus parameters is presented. A phenomenological model of these relationships and their relevance to wind-mediated cockroach behavior is proposed.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. The making and breaking of affectional bonds. I. Aetiology and psychopathology in the light of attachment theory. An expanded version of the Fiftieth Maudsley Lecture, delivered before the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 19 November 1976.

    PubMed

    Bowlby, J

    1977-03-01

    An account is given of attachment theory as a way of conceptualizing the propensity of human beings to make strong affectional bonds to particular others and of explaining the many forms of emotional distress and personality disturbance, including anxiety, anger, depression and emotional detachment, to which unwilling separation and loss give rise. Though it incorporates much psychoanalytic thinking, many of its principles derive from ethology, cognitive psychology and control theory. It conforms to the ordinary criteria of a scientific discipline. Certain common patterns of personality development, both healthy and pathological, are described in these terms, and also some of the common patterns of parenting that contribute to them.

  10. 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.

  11. Correlates of suicide and violence risk: III. A two-stage model of countervailing forces.

    PubMed

    Plutchik, R; van Praag, H M; Conte, H R

    1989-05-01

    Questionnaires and self-report scales were administered to 100 psychiatric inpatients. The scales measured such variables as depression, hopelessness, impulsivity, mental and life problems, family violence, personality characteristics, and dyscontrol tendencies. These were correlated with indices of suicide risk and violence risk. Most variables were found to correlate significantly with both suicide and violence risk. Partial correlation analyses revealed that 10 variables correlated significantly with suicide risk but not violence risk, while four variables correlated significantly with violence risk but not suicide risk. A two-stage model of countervailing forces, incorporating concepts from both psychoanalysis and ethology, is presented as a way of interpreting the results. PMID:2748772

  12. 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.

  13. Exploration-exploitation: A cognitive dilemma still unresolved.

    PubMed

    James, Russell N

    2015-01-01

    The solution to the exploration-exploitation dilemma presented essentially subsumes exploitation into an information-maximizing model. Such a single-maximization model is shown to be (1) more tractable than the initial dual-maximization dilemma, (2) useful in modeling information-maximizing subsystems, and (3) profitably applied in artificial simulations where exploration is costless. However, the model fails to resolve the dilemma in ethological or practical circumstances with objective outcomes, such as inclusive fitness, rather than information outcomes, such as lack of surprise.

  14. 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

  15. Triatoma dimidiata (Latreille, 1811): a review of its diversity across its geographic range and the relationship among populations.

    PubMed

    Dorn, Patricia L; Monroy, Carlota; Curtis, Andrew

    2007-03-01

    Due to its vast diversity the Chagas vector, Triatoma dimidiata, has been merged and split into species and subspecies since its first description in 1811. Across its geographic range from Southern Mexico to Northern Peru populations differ in their biology and ethology in many ways including those that directly affect vector capacity and competence. Recent phenetic and genetic data suggest that T. dimidiata can be divided into at least three clades and in fact may be a polytypic species or species complex. To effectively target this vector, it will be necessary to clearly understand how "T. dimidiata" is genetically partitioned both at the taxonomic and population level.

  16. Rethinking Oedipus: an evolutionary perspective of incest avoidance.

    PubMed

    Erickson, M T

    1993-03-01

    The author presents a biological hypothesis of incest avoidance. Pertinent literature from evolutionary biology, ethology, anthropology, and clinical research is reviewed. Secure early bonding to immediate kin predicts later adaptive kin-directed behaviors, including preferential altruism (kin selection) and incest avoidance. Impaired bonding predicts aberrant kin-directed behavior, including diminished altruism, neglect, and an increased incidence of incest. Failed bonding predicts the highest frequency of incest. Secure bonding to kin may function to establish adaptive kin-directed behaviors, including incest avoidance. Bonding is conceived of as the developmental foundation of a form of social attraction, here called "familial attraction," which is evolutionarily distinct from sexual attraction.

  17. Group housing of hamadryas baboons: a new cage design based upon field studies of social organization.

    PubMed

    Maclean, J M; Phippard, A F; Garner, M G; Duggin, G G; Horvath, J S; Tiller, D J

    1987-02-01

    The hamadryas subspecies, which is utilized extensively for laboratory research, has a social structure unique among baboons. Field studies have shown that small one male units are the basic grouping in a complex multi-level social system. A housing design for a research colony of hamadryas baboons was conceived to reflect this unique social organization and related behavioral patterns. The outcome of combining such ethological considerations with practical dictates for housing large laboratory primates has been assessed in terms of reproductive performance, animal health and utilization for research. Various benefits of this approach to cage design for hamadryas baboons are identified in this report.

  18. [Declawing in cats?].

    PubMed

    de Jonge, I

    1983-02-15

    Those forms of behaviour in which cats use their claws are reviewed. Forms of undesirable use of the claws and possible solutions to this problem are discussed. An inquiry among veterinary practitioners showed that nearly fifty per cent of these practitioners refused to declaw cats on principle. Approximately seventy-five per cent of the veterinarians taking part in the inquiry advocated that the Royal Netherlands Veterinary Association should state its position with regard to declawing. It is concluded by the present author that declawing is unacceptable for ethical and ethological reasons. PMID:6836550

  19. 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

  20. The surveillance state of behavioral automation.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Andreas T; Claridge-Chang, Adam

    2012-02-01

    Genetics' demand for increased throughput is driving automatization of behavior analysis far beyond experimental workhorses like circadian monitors and the operant conditioning box. However, the new automation is not just faster: it is also allowing new kinds of experiments, many of which erase the boundaries of the traditional neuroscience disciplines (psychology, ethology and physiology) while producing insight into problems that were otherwise opaque. Ironically, a central theme of current automatization is to improve observation of animals in increasingly naturalistic environments. This is not just a return to 19th century priorities: the new observational methods provide unprecedented quantitation of actions and ever-closer integration with experimentation.

  1. 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

  2. The decade 1989-1998 in Spanish psychology: an analysis of research in psychobiology.

    PubMed

    Herreros de Tejada, P; Muñoz Tedó, C

    2001-11-01

    In this paper, we present an analysis of the research published during the 1989-1998 decade by tenured Spanish faculty members from the area of psychobiology. Database search and direct correspondence with the 110 faculty members rendered a list of 904 psychobiological papers. Classification and analysis of these papers led to the definition of at least 70 different research trends. Topics are grouped into several specific research areas: Learning and Memory; Development and Neural Plasticity; Emotion and Stress; Ethology; Neuropsychology; Sensory Processing; and Psychopharmacology. The international dissemination of this research, published in journals of high impact index, and the increasing number of papers are two noteworthy features.

  3. Necrotic enteritis in collared (Pecari tajacu) and white-lipped (Tayassu pecari) peccaries.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, Marco Antônio Galvão; Santos, Polyana Silva; Nogueira, Selene Siqueira da Cunha; Lessa, Fabiana; Almeida, Valter dos Anjos; Leça-Júnior, Nilo Fernandes; Salvarani, Felipe Masiero; Lobato, Francisco Carlos Faria; Nogueira-Filho, Sérgio Luiz Gama

    2011-12-01

    An outbreak of necrotic enteritis caused by Clostridium perfringens type C was diagnosed in captive collared (Pecari tajacu) and white-lipped (Tayassu pecari) peccaries housed in the Laboratory of Applied Ethology of Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz located in Ilhéus, State of Bahia, Brazil. Four collared peccaries and three white-lipped peccaries, all juveniles (25-105 days old), were affected. For all affected animals, lethargy and inappetance were followed by sudden death within 24 hours. Histopathology of intestinal wall, culture of C. perfringens type C, and the identification of beta-toxin from intestinal content confirmed the diagnosis.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. [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

  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. [Possibilities for the all-year free-range raising of horses].

    PubMed

    Zeeb, K

    1994-03-01

    The ethological concept concerning supply of needs an avoidance of damage is mentioned as a possibility for the evaluation of welfare aspects related to animal management. The 250 Dülmen horses kept on 300 ha by the Duke of Croy show what must be provided for horse-keeping in a semi-natural environment: Sufficient food and water, efficient shelter as well as adequate structures for the needs of horses concerning social and comfort behaviour. A catalogue of factors, functions and facilities for this kind of horse-keeping is presented.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Eco-HAB as a fully automated and ecologically relevant assessment of social impairments in mouse models of autism

    PubMed Central

    Puścian, Alicja; Łęski, Szymon; Kasprowicz, Grzegorz; Winiarski, Maciej; Borowska, Joanna; Nikolaev, Tomasz; Boguszewski, Paweł M; Lipp, Hans-Peter; Knapska, Ewelina

    2016-01-01

    Eco-HAB is an open source, RFID-based system for automated measurement and analysis of social preference and in-cohort sociability in mice. The system closely follows murine ethology. It requires no contact between a human experimenter and tested animals, overcoming the confounding factors that lead to irreproducible assessment of murine social behavior between laboratories. In Eco-HAB, group-housed animals live in a spacious, four-compartment apparatus with shadowed areas and narrow tunnels, resembling natural burrows. Eco-HAB allows for assessment of the tendency of mice to voluntarily spend time together in ethologically relevant mouse group sizes. Custom-made software for automated tracking, data extraction, and analysis enables quick evaluation of social impairments. The developed protocols and standardized behavioral measures demonstrate high replicability. Unlike classic three-chambered sociability tests, Eco-HAB provides measurements of spontaneous, ecologically relevant social behaviors in group-housed animals. Results are obtained faster, with less manpower, and without confounding factors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19532.001 PMID:27731798

  16. Understanding Societies from Inside the Organisms. Leo Pardi's Work on Social Dominance in Polistes Wasps (1937-1952).

    PubMed

    Caniglia, Guido

    2015-08-01

    Leo Pardi (1915-1990) was the initiator of ethological research in Italy. During more than 50 years of active scientific career, he gave groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of social life in insects, especially in Polistes wasps, an important model organism in sociobiology. In the 1940s, Pardi showed that Polistes societies are organized in a linear social hierarchy that relies on reproductive dominance and on the physiological and developmental mechanisms that regulate it, i.e. on the status of ovarian development of single wasps. Pardi's work set the stage for further research on the regulatory mechanisms governing social life in primitively eusocial organisms both in wasps and in other insect species. This article reconstructs Pardi's investigative pathway between 1937 and 1952 in the context of European ethology and American animal sociology. This reconstruction focuses on the development of Pardi's physiological approach and presents a new perspective on the interacting development of these two fields at the origins of our current understanding of animal social behavior.

  17. 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

  18. Anxiolytic effects of Lavandula angustifolia odour on the Mongolian gerbil elevated plus maze.

    PubMed

    Bradley, B F; Starkey, N J; Brown, S L; Lea, R W

    2007-05-22

    Lavender is a popular treatment for stress and mild anxiety in Europe and the USA. The present study investigated the effects of (Lavandula angustifolia Mill. (Lamiaceae)) lavender odour inhalation over 2 weeks or 24 h periods, on gerbil behaviour in the elevated plus maze in mature male and female gerbils, and compared results with the effects of diazepam (1 mg/kg) i.p. after 30 min and 2-week administration. Traditional measures of open entries showed an increasing trend over the 2 weeks exposure, whereas ethological measures indicative of anxiety; stretch-attend frequency and percentage protected head-dips, were significantly lower. Exploratory behaviour, total head-dip frequency, increased after 24 h lavender and 2 weeks exposure. These results are comparable with diazepam administration. There were sex differences in protected head-dip an ethological indicator of anxiety: females showed a significant decrease in protected head-dips compared to both males and to female controls. In conclusion exposure to lavender odour may have an anxiolytic profile in gerbils similar to that of the anxiolytic diazepam. In addition, prolonged, 2-week lavender odour exposure increased exploratory behaviour in females indicating a further decrease in anxiety in this sex.

  19. PhenoWorld: a new paradigm to screen rodent behavior

    PubMed Central

    Castelhano-Carlos, M; Costa, P S; Russig, H; Sousa, N

    2014-01-01

    Modeling depression in animals has inherent complexities that are augmented by intrinsic difficulties to measure the characteristic features of the disorder. Herein, we describe the PhenoWorld (PhW), a new setting in which groups of six rats lived in an ethological enriched environment, and have their feeding, locomotor activity, sleeping and social behavior automatically monitored. A battery of emotional and cognitive tests was used to characterize the behavioral phenotype of animals living in the PhW and in standard conditions (in groups of six and two rats), after exposure to an unpredictable chronic mild stress paradigm (uCMS) and antidepressants. Data reveal that animals living in the PhW displayed similar, but more striking, behavioral differences when exposed to uCMS, such as increased behavioral despair shown in the forced swimming test, resting/sleep behavior disturbances and reduced social interactions. Moreover, several PhW-cage behaviors, such as spontaneous will to go for food or exercise in running wheels, proved to be sensitive indicators of depressive-like behavior. In summary, this new ethological enriched paradigm adds significant discriminative power to screen depressive-like behavior, in particularly rodent's hedonic behavior. PMID:26126181

  20. [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.

  1. The molecular basis of social behavior: models, methods and advances.

    PubMed

    LeBoeuf, Adria C; Benton, Richard; Keller, Laurent

    2013-02-01

    Elucidating the molecular and neural basis of complex social behaviors such as communal living, division of labor and warfare requires model organisms that exhibit these multi-faceted behavioral phenotypes. Social insects, such as ants, bees, wasps and termites, are attractive models to address this problem, with rich ecological and ethological foundations. However, their atypical systems of reproduction have hindered application of classical genetic approaches. In this review, we discuss how recent advances in social insect genomics, transcriptomics, and functional manipulations have enhanced our ability to observe and perturb gene expression, physiology and behavior in these species. Such developments begin to provide an integrated view of the molecular and cellular underpinnings of complex social behavior. PMID:22995551

  2. The Janus-faced nature of comparative psychology--strength or weakness?

    PubMed

    Burghardt, Gordon M

    2013-07-18

    What is the nature of comparative psychology and how does or should it relate to evolutionary psychology? This is a time of reassessment of both fields and this article reviews the history of comparative psychology and its relationships with evolutionary psychology, ethology, and other approaches to behavior from the perspective of a former editor of the Journal of Comparative Psychology who has spent many decades engaged in research in animal behavior. Special attention is given to a reassessment of comparative psychology that was carried out in 1987. The various tensions and orientations that seem endemic to comparative psychology may, in fact, be both a strength and weakness as comparative psychology and evolutionary approaches to human psychology return to issues prominent in the late 19th Century, when both fields were just becoming established.

  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

    2014-04-29

    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.

  4. [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.

  5. 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.

  6. Touch during preterm infant resuscitation.

    PubMed

    Kitchin, L W; Hutchinson, S

    1996-10-01

    Preterm infants frequently require resuscitation in the delivery room. Under the intense circumstances of providing lifesaving interventions, caregivers may be unaware of the amount and kind of touch an infant receives. The purpose of this qualitative, ethologic study was to describe the kinds of touch that occur during resuscitation of premature infants immediately after delivery as viewed on videotape. The convenience sample consisted of ten videotapes of premature infant resuscitation performed at a tertiary care center. Using Spradley's Developmental Research Sequence, a description of kinds of touch--including mechanical and human touch--was developed. Descriptive research conceptualizing touch promotes awareness of current practice and may lead to alterations in clinical practice that best support the adaptive response in the depressed infant. PMID:9035643

  7. Illness, body and relationship: Giovanni Jervis and the field of clinical psychology.

    PubMed

    Williams, Riccardo

    2012-01-01

    Unlike most of his contemporaries, Jervis felt it was necessary to give new answers to last century's clinical psychology crisis. He managed to show the relevance that psychological knowledge coming from other sectors (such as philosophy, evolutionary biology, cybernetics, ethology and, nowadays, neuroscience) could have for clinical psychology. He realized that the clinical world was at risk of loosing its cultural models of reference and threatened to break up with the scientific tradition with which it had not been able to establish a profitable dialogue. Jervis' views on mental functioning allowed him to delimit the field of action of clinical psychology. The focus on pathology and existential distress suggested that correct clinical evaluation and diagnosis are at the core of the activity of clinical psychologists. The tension between relational expectations, self-deceptive aspects of identity and the bodily sources of mental life show the dynamic field on which clinical psychology can deploy its transformative action.

  8. The psychology and neuroscience of curiosity

    PubMed Central

    Kidd, Celeste; Hayden, Benjamin Y.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Curiosity is a basic element of our cognition, yet its biological function, mechanisms, and neural underpinning remain poorly understood. It is nonetheless a motivator for learning, influential in decision-making, and crucial for healthy development. One factor limiting our understanding of it is the lack of a widely agreed upon delineation of what is and is not curiosity; another factor is the dearth of standardized laboratory tasks that manipulate curiosity in the lab. Despite these barriers, recent years have seen a major growth of interest in both the neuroscience and psychology of curiosity. In this Perspective, we advocate for the importance of the field, provide a selective overview of its current state, and describe tasks that are used to study curiosity and information-seeking. We propose that, rather than worry about defining curiosity, it is more helpful to consider the motivations for information-seeking behavior and to study it in its ethological context. PMID:26539887

  9. Learning obstacle avoidance with an operant behavior model.

    PubMed

    Gutnisky, D A; Zanutto, B S

    2004-01-01

    Artificial intelligence researchers have been attracted by the idea of having robots learn how to accomplish a task, rather than being told explicitly. Reinforcement learning has been proposed as an appealing framework to be used in controlling mobile agents. Robot learning research, as well as research in biological systems, face many similar problems in order to display high flexibility in performing a variety of tasks. In this work, the controlling of a vehicle in an avoidance task by a previously developed operant learning model (a form of animal learning) is studied. An environment in which a mobile robot with proximity sensors has to minimize the punishment for colliding against obstacles is simulated. The results were compared with the Q-Learning algorithm, and the proposed model had better performance. In this way a new artificial intelligence agent inspired by neurobiology, psychology, and ethology research is proposed.

  10. Helminth fauna of Talpa spp. in the Palaearctic Realm.

    PubMed

    Ribas, A; Casanova, J C

    2006-03-01

    The helminth fauna of the genus Talpa in the Palaearctic Realm is reviewed. Several helminth species reported in Talpa spp. by a number of authors are discussed, with reference to host specificity, parasite biology, and host ethology, ecology and phylogeny. Twelve species of cestodes were found, two of which exhibit stenoxenous specificity (Staphylocystis bacillaris and Multitesticulata filamentosa). Only three species of trematodes, Ityogonimus lorum, Ityogonimus ocreatus and Combesia macrobursata, are exclusive parasites of Talpa spp. The largest group are nematodes, with 37 species. Species of Tricholinstowia are parasites of holarctic talpids and several species of distinct genera, such as Capillaria, Soboliphyme and Trichuris, are found only in Talpa spp. Only acanthocephalans of the genus Moniliformis have been reported in moles of the genus Talpa. On the basis of these helminthological findings, the close phylogenetic relationship between moles (Talpidae) and shrews (Soricidae) supports the separation of the ordinal levels Soricomorpha and Erinaceomorpha.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Behavioural changes in laboratory mice during cannabis feeding and withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Cutler, M G; Mackintosh, J H; Chance, M R

    1975-10-31

    The effects of feeding cannabis at a level of 0.4% in the diet has been studied by an ethological analysis of encounters between male mice. Administration of cannabis to dominant males resulted in a reduction of non-social activity and an increase in flight and in social and sexual investigation when compared with untreated controls, but the behaviour of subordinate males was not significantly altered by cannabis. One week after withdrawal of cannabis, the behaviour of diminant males showed a rebound effect with increase in aggression. Nevertheless, by a preference feeding test it was demonstrated that the treated mice were not dependent on the cannabis-containing diet but consumed the control diet in preference.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Social attention with real versus reel stimuli: toward an empirical approach to concerns about ecological validity

    PubMed Central

    Risko, Evan F.; Laidlaw, Kaitlin E. W.; Freeth, Megan; Foulsham, Tom; Kingstone, Alan

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive neuroscientists often study social cognition by using simple but socially relevant stimuli, such as schematic faces or images of other people. Whilst this research is valuable, important aspects of genuine social encounters are absent from these studies, a fact that has recently drawn criticism. In the present review we argue for an empirical approach to the determination of the equivalence of different social stimuli. This approach involves the systematic comparison of different types of social stimuli ranging in their approximation to a real social interaction. In garnering support for this cognitive ethological approach, we focus on recent research in social attention that has involved stimuli ranging from simple schematic faces to real social interactions. We highlight both meaningful similarities and differences in various social attentional phenomena across these different types of social stimuli thus validating the utility of the research initiative. Furthermore, we argue that exploring these similarities and differences will provide new insights into social cognition and social neuroscience. PMID:22654747

  18. On the utilization of social animals as a model for social robotics.

    PubMed

    Miklósi, Adám; 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.

  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. 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

  1. The use of the elevated plus maze as an assay of anxiety-related behavior in rodents

    PubMed Central

    Walf, Alicia A; Frye, Cheryl A

    2013-01-01

    The elevated plus maze is a widely used behavioral assay for rodents and it has been validated to assess the anti-anxiety effects of pharmacological agents and steroid hormones, and to define brain regions and mechanisms underlying anxiety-related behavior. Briefly, rats or mice are placed at the junction of the four arms of the maze, facing an open arm, and entries/duration in each arm are recorded by a video-tracking system and observer simultaneously for 5 min. Other ethological parameters (i.e., rears, head dips and stretched-attend postures) can also be observed. An increase in open arm activity (duration and/or entries) reflects anti-anxiety behavior. In our laboratory, rats or mice are exposed to the plus maze on one occasion; thus, results can be obtained in 5 min per rodent. PMID:17406592

  2. [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.

  3. Control of echinococcosis and cysticercosis: a public health challenge to international cooperation in China.

    PubMed

    Ito, Akira; Urbani, Carlo; Jiamin, Qiu; Vuitton, Dominique A; Dongchuan, Qiu; Heath, David D; Craig, Philip S; Zheng, Feng; Schantz, Peter M

    2003-04-01

    Echinococcosis, both cystic and alveolar, and Taenia solium cysticercosis are the most serious zoonotic cestodoses worldwide. Because of the emerging importance of these diseases in China, several international workshops and meetings were held in this country from 1998 to 2001. Based on round table discussions in Chengdu 2000, the proposal of a strategy to control echinococcosis and cysticercosis has been prepared in China. It includes a comprehensive approach based on a careful analysis of the local situations (particularly concerning the particularities of the cycle, ecology, and ethology of the animal hosts, and behavioral characteristics of the population at risk), the use of newly developed tools both in animals and human (immunology, molecular biology, and imaging), and the association of the traditional control measures (control of slaughtering, antiparasitic treatment and control of the definitive hosts, and health education) with more recent developments such as vaccination of the intermediate hosts. Plans on for the control of echinococcosis and cysticercosis in China are summarized.

  4. The incest taboo and family structure.

    PubMed

    Frances, V; Frances, A

    1976-06-01

    The evolutionary advantage of outbreeding has influenced the family structure and the mating, attachment, and dominance behaviors of all animals. Nature has selected for those species that have evolved family structures with detachment and dominance patterns that create a relatively intact incest barrier. Man inherits from his animal forebears the biological imperative of an incest barrier but brings to it his special complexity of psychology and symbolization--incest barrier becomes incest taboo. We present a discussion of human patterns of speparation-individuation and Oedipal conflict and relate this to the detachment and dominance behaviors of animals. This is an interface between psychoanalysis, family theory, and ethology. In addition, we pursue in detail the asymmetrical operation of the incest taboo within the family: that it is stronger for mother-son than for father-daughter than for brother-sister.

  5. 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).

  6. Studying aggression in Drosophila (fruit flies).

    PubMed

    Mundiyanapurath, Sibu; Certel, Sarah; Kravitz, Edward A

    2007-01-01

    Aggression is an innate behavior that evolved in the framework of defending or obtaining resources. This complex social behavior is influenced by genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. In many organisms, aggression is critical to survival but controlling and suppressing aggression in distinct contexts also has become increasingly important. In recent years, invertebrates have become increasingly useful as model systems for investigating the genetic and systems biological basis of complex social behavior. This is in part due to the diverse repertoire of behaviors exhibited by these organisms. In the accompanying video, we outline a method for analyzing aggression in Drosophila whose design encompasses important eco-ethological constraints. Details include steps for: making a fighting chamber; isolating and painting flies; adding flies to the fight chamber; and video taping fights. This approach is currently being used to identify candidate genes important in aggression and in elaborating the neuronal circuitry that underlies the output of aggression and other social behaviors.

  7. [Dynamic psychology and psychoanalysis in Giovanni Jervis' thought].

    PubMed

    Dazzi, Nino

    2012-01-01

    As against the background of an unconditioned reception of Darwinian theory and its developments, mainly in the field of ethology, a reflection deploys itself on complex theoretical themes, such as identity, consciousness and motivation. This leads Jervis to deal not only and not as much with psychoanalysis, as with a broader theoretical framework, labelled as "dynamic psychology". Contributions from different fields of contemporary psychological knowledge, particularly from cognitive sciences, personality and social psychology and developmental observations converge into this new framework. A proposal is made that is characterized by a peculiar critical sensitivity and is open to future developments. It is in this new light that Jervis was able to carry out a retrospective recognition of the century of Psychoanalysis.

  8. Neural mechanisms of insect navigation.

    PubMed

    Webb, Barbara; Wystrach, Antoine

    2016-06-01

    We know more about the ethology of insect navigation than the neural substrates. Few studies have shown direct effects of brain manipulation on navigational behaviour; or measure brain responses that clearly relate to the animal's current location or spatial target, independently of specific sensory cues. This is partly due to the methodological problems of obtaining neural data in a naturally behaving animal. However, substantial indirect evidence, such as comparative anatomy and knowledge of the neural circuits that provide relevant sensory inputs provide converging arguments for the role of some specific brain areas: the mushroom bodies; and the central complex. Finally, modelling can help bridge the gap by relating the computational requirements of a given navigational task to the type of computation offered by different brain areas. PMID:27436729

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The case of the missing third.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Robin

    2005-01-01

    How is it that form arises out of chaos? In attempting to deal with this primary question, time and again a "Missing Third" is posited that lies between extremes. The problem of the "Missing Third" can be traced through nearly the entire history of thought. The form it takes, the problems that arise from it, the solutions suggested for resolving it, are each representative of an age. This paper traces the issue from Plato and Parmenides in the 4th--5th centuries, B.C.; to Neoplatonism in the 3rd--5th centuries; to Locke and Descartes in the 17th century; on to Berkeley and Kant in the 18th century; Fechner and Wundt in the 19th century; to behaviorism and Gestalt psychology, Jung, early in the 20th century, ethology and cybernetics later in the 20th century, then culminates late in the 20th century, with chaos theory.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Looming vulnerability to threat: a cognitive paradigm for anxiety.

    PubMed

    Riskind, J H

    1997-08-01

    The concept that perceived threat or danger is a cognitive antecedent of anxiety is central in clinical psychology, personality psychology, and social psychology. The aim in the current article is to review this concept and present a new conception called the looming vulnerability model. Looming vulnerability is conceptualized as an important cognitive component of threat or danger that elicits anxiety, sensitizes the individual to signs of movement and threat, biases cognitive processing, and makes the anxiety more persistent and less likely to habituate. In addition, it is postulated as a principal theme that discriminates anxiety and focal fears from depression. The looming vulnerability model integrates a disparate collection of findings and integrates the conceptualization of anxiety and fear with ethological and developmental observations. The social-cognitive and evolutionary basis of the sense of looming vulnerability are discussed, as well as its roots in cognitive schemata (fear scripts), its state elicitation by several potential classes of antecedent conditions, and possible treatment implications.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Psychiatry, religion, positive emotions and spirituality.

    PubMed

    Vaillant, George E

    2013-12-01

    This paper proposes that eight positive emotions: awe, love/attachment, trust/faith, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, joy and hope constitute what we mean by spirituality. These emotions have been grossly ignored by psychiatry. The two sciences that I shall employ to demonstrate this definition of spirituality will be ethology and neuroscience. They are both very new. I will argue that spirituality is not about ideas, sacred texts and theology. Rather, spirituality is all about emotion and social connection that are more dependent on the limbic system than the cortex. Specific religions, for all their limitations, are often the portal through which positive emotions are brought into conscious attention. Neither Freud nor psychiatric textbooks ever mention emotions like joy and gratitude. Hymns and psalms give these emotions pride of place. Our whole concept of psychotherapy might change, if clinicians set about enhancing positive emotions, rather than focusing only on the negative ones.

  20. 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

  1. The specificity of social stress.

    PubMed

    Zayan, R

    1991-12-01

    This paper attempts to clarify the concept of "social stress" as implicitly understood in the ethological literature. With respect to the general characteristics of stressors and stress responses, the concept when applied to crowding or to encounters with unfamiliar conspecifics does not appear to denote a specific process. The concept is more specific when it refers to the psychological (emotional, perceptive or cognitive) processes that accompany "behavioural stress", e.g. agonistic interactions and subordination experience. The concept of "sociological stress" is proposed to denote the very specific process whereby stress responses of individuals result from a group's social structure, and whereby the former determine the latter via behavioural interactions and the other types of couplings (e.g. perceptive) between the group-members. Finally, it is submitted that social stress at the group level may not be adequately reflected by traditional hormonal indicators of physiological stress. PMID:24923968

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Social signals: a framework in terms of goals and beliefs.

    PubMed

    Poggi, Isabella; D'Errico, Francesca

    2012-10-01

    The paper defines the notion of social signal, in terms of a cognitive model of mind and social interaction, as a communicative or informative signal or a cue that directly or indirectly provides information about "social facts": social interactions, social emotions, social attitudes, evaluations and stances, social relations, and social identities. This notion is compared with other connected notions in Semiotics, Ethology, and Psychology, several types of informative and communicative signals and cues are exemplified, and their process of production and interpretation is overviewed, while considering the role of context and previous knowledge in it. The implications of this model are outlined for the construction of systems for the analysis of social signals and their simulation in Virtual Agents.

  10. A review of 25 years of the social interaction test.

    PubMed

    File, Sandra E; Seth, Pallab

    2003-02-28

    The social interaction test of anxiety was developed 25 years ago to provide an ethologically based test that was sensitive to both anxiolytic and anxiogenic effects. It is sensitive to a number of environmental and physiological factors that can affect anxiety. It has detected anxiogenic effects of peptides such as corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and anxiolytic effects of neuropeptide Y and substance P receptor antagonists. It has successfully identified neuropharmacological sites of action of anxiogenic compounds and drug withdrawal. Effects of compounds acting on the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) systems have been extensively investigated after both systemic administration and microinjection into specific brain regions. The use of this test has, thus, played a crucial role in unravelling the neural basis of anxiety. It is hoped that in the next 25 years, the test will play a crucial role in determining the genetic basis of anxiety disorders.

  11. 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

  12. Owl's behavior and neural representation predicted by Bayesian inference.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Brian J; Peña, José Luis

    2011-08-01

    The owl captures prey using sound localization. In the classical model, the owl infers sound direction from the position of greatest activity in a brain map of auditory space. However, this model fails to describe the actual behavior. Although owls accurately localize sources near the center of gaze, they systematically underestimate peripheral source directions. We found that this behavior is predicted by statistical inference, formulated as a Bayesian model that emphasizes central directions. We propose that there is a bias in the neural coding of auditory space, which, at the expense of inducing errors in the periphery, achieves high behavioral accuracy at the ethologically relevant range. We found that the owl's map of auditory space decoded by a population vector is consistent with the behavioral model. Thus, a probabilistic model describes both how the map of auditory space supports behavior and why this representation is optimal. PMID:21725311

  13. 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

  14. Advice to young behavioral and cognitive scientists.

    PubMed

    Weisman, Ronald G

    2008-02-01

    Modeled on Medawar's Advice to a Young Scientist [Medawar, P.B., 1979. Advice to a Young Scientist. Basic Books, New York], this article provides advice to behavioral and cognitive scientists. An important guiding principle is that the study of comparative cognition and behavior are natural sciences tasked with explaining nature. The author advises young scientists to begin with a natural phenomenon and then bring it into the laboratory, rather than beginning in the laboratory and hoping for an application in nature. He suggests collaboration as a way to include research outside the scientist's normal competence. He then discusses several guides to good science. These guides include Tinbergen's [Tinbergen, N., 1963. On aims and methods of ethology. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, 20, 410-433. This journal was renamed Ethology in 1986. Also reprinted in Anim. Biol. 55, 297-321, 2005] four "why" questions, Platt's [Platt, J.R., 1964. Strong inference. Science 146, 347-353, (http://weber.ucsd.edu/~jmoore/courses/Platt1964.pdf)] notion of strong inference using multiple alternative hypotheses, and the idea that positive controls help scientists to follow Popper's [Popper, K.R., 1959. The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Basic Books, New York, p. 41] advice about disproving hypotheses. The author also recommends Strunk and White's [Strunk, W., White, E.B., 1979. The Elements of Style, third ed. Macmillan, New York] rules for sound writing, and he provides his personal advice on how to use the anticipation of peer review to improve research and how to decode editors' and reviewers' comments about submitted articles.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Behavioural and pharmacological characterisation of the elevated "zero-maze" as an animal model of anxiety.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, J K; Grewal, S S; Fletcher, A; Bill, D J; Dourish, C T

    1994-09-01

    The elevated "zero-maze" is a modification of the elevated plus-maze model of anxiety in rats which incorporates both traditional and novel ethological measures in the analysis of drug effects. The novel design comprises an elevated annular platform with two opposite enclosed quadrants and two open, removing any ambiguity in interpretation of time spent on the central square of the traditional design and allowing uninterrupted exploration. Using this model, the reference benzodiazepine anxiolytics, diazepam (0.125-0.5 mg/kg) and chlordiazepoxide (0.5-2.0 mg/kg) significantly increased the percentage of time spent in the open quadrants (% TO) and the frequency of head dips over the edge of the platform (HDIPS), and reduced the frequency of stretched attend postures (SAP) from the closed to open quadrants. In contrast, the anxiogenic drug m-chlorophenyl-piperazine (mCPP; 0.25-1.0 mg/kg) induced the opposite effects, decreasing %TO and HDIPS, and increasing SAP. The 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT; 0.001-0.1 mg/kg) had no effects on either %TO or HDIPS, but did decrease SAP at 0.01 mg/kg although not at higher or lower doses. Similarly, the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, ondansetron (0.0001-1.0 mg/kg) decreased SAP and increased %TO at 0.01 mg/kg, but not at other doses. The present data suggest that a combination of the novel "zero-maze" design and a detailed ethological analysis provides a sensitive model for the detection of anxiolytic/anxiogenic drug action.

  17. 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

  18. Contrasting phenotypes of C57BL/6JOlaHsd, 129S2/SvHsd and 129/SvEv mice in two exploration-based tests of anxiety-related behaviour.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, R J; Boullier, E; Chatzimichalaki, P; Cooper, G D; Shorten, A

    2002-11-01

    Knockout mice are typically generated on a mixed genetic background and, as such, detailed behavioural characterisation of these background strains is essential to the valid interpretation of mutant phenotypes. In this context, recent research has revealed significant differences in anxiety-like behaviour among the most commonly used background strains (C57BL/6J and various 129 substrains), leading to the possibility that at least certain mutant phenotypes may not after all be due to the targeted mutation. However, these findings derive largely from behavioural test batteries in which there may well be an experiential confound, while the widely reported hypolocomotor profile of most 129 substrains may compromise the principal indices of anxiety-like behaviour. In the present study, we have compared the behavioural profiles of three commonly used background strains (C57BL/6JOlaHsd, 129/SvEv and 129S2/SvHsd) in two of the most popular animal models of anxiety-the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and light/dark exploration (LDE) tests. Naive animals were used for each procedure, ethological scoring methods were employed throughout, and the inbred phenotypes were also compared with that of an outbred strain (Swiss-Webster) widely employed in test validation and behavioural pharmacology. Our results show that, despite their hypolocomotor profile, both 129 substrains display higher levels of anxiety-like behaviour (conventional and/or ethological measures) relative to the C57BL/6JOlaHsd strain. Furthermore, all three inbred strains were less active in both tests when compared with the outbred Swiss-Webster strain. However, whereas C57BL/6JOlaHsd mice displayed lower levels of anxiety-like behaviour than their Swiss-Webster counterparts (both tests), 129S2/SvHsd (but not 129/SvEv) mice exhibited evidence of higher anxiety, particularly in the LDE test. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to both the behavioural and pharmacological phenotyping of mutant

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Effects of apoptosis-related proteins caspase-3, Bax and Bcl-2 on cerebral ischemia rats.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guangyi; Wang, Tao; Wang, Tinging; Song, Jinming; Zhou, Zhen

    2013-11-01

    Neuron apoptosis is known to mediate a change of ethology following cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. Additionally, Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3 proteins may exert a significant effect on neuron injury. The aim of this study was to investigate the role, mechanism of action and clinical significance of these proteins in neuron apoptosis and functional impairment following cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. Sixty male healthy adult Wistar rats were randomly assigned into control (n=6), sham operation (n=6) and experimental (n=48) groups. The model of rat cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury was set up according to the method of Zea-Longa. Eight subsets of 6 rats-subset were designed according to time points (at 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h and at 3, 7 and 14 days). Nerve functional injury was evaluated and graded using nerve function score, balance, coordination function detection and measurement of forelimb placing. The neurons expressing caspase-3, Bax and Bcl-2 in the cortical area, CA3, CA1, stratum lucidum (Slu) and molecular layer of the dentate gyrus (MoDG) of the hippocampus were detected using immunohistochemistry or the TUNEL method. The expression of caspase-3, Bax and Bcl-2 genes was detected by the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The results indicated that, compared to the sham operation group, the score of nerve function and balance beam walking were distinctly higher (P<0.01) and the percentage of rat foreleg touching the angle or margin of the table was significantly lower in the experimental rat group (P<0.01) at 3 h following reperfusion. The expression of TUNEL-positive neurons was high in the cortical area and the CA3 region of the hippocampus (P<0.01), caspase-3 was at peak value in the cortical area and the CA1 region of the hippocampus (P<0.01), Bax was increased in the cortical area and the Slu of the hippocampus (P<0.01) and Bcl-2 was low in the cortical area and the MoDG of the hippocampus (P<0.01) in

  2. 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

  3. Formation of behavioral pathology in female C57BL/6J mice exposed to prolonged negative psychoemotional conditions.

    PubMed

    Avgustinovich, D F; Kovalenko, I L

    2005-11-01

    Prolonged exposure of females to negative psychoemotional conditions by permanent keeping with aggressive males on the other side of a perforated partition in a cage with daily witnessing of intermale confrontations had negative influences on the behavior of females, assessed using a variety of ethological tests. The elevated maze test and the open field test provided evidence for the development of marked anxiety in the females, with inhibition of motor and investigative activity. Decreases in the responses of females close to the partition to familiar and unfamiliar males one month after the onset of exposure to negative psychoemotional conditions and before the end of the experiment provided evidence for a decrease in communicativeness. After two months of exposure to negative psychoemotional conditions, intermale confrontations also ceased to interest females, as shown by the partition test. The hotplate test revealed worsening of pain sensitivity in experimental females. More than half of the individuals demonstrated impairment to the cyclicity of sexual cycles with increases in the duration of diestrus. After being kept in negative psychoemotional conditions, females ceased to differentiate littermates by social status and gender, as shown by social/sexual recognition tests. All these data provide grounds for suggesting the development of an anxious-depressive state in females after being kept in negative psychoemotional conditions for prolonged periods.

  4. [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

  5. Ontogeny of orientation flight in the honeybee revealed by harmonic radar.

    PubMed

    Capaldi, E A; Smith, A D; Osborne, J L; Fahrbach, S E; Farris, S M; Reynolds, D R; Edwards, A S; Martin, A; Robinson, G E; Poppy, G M; Riley, J R

    2000-02-01

    Cognitive ethology focuses on the study of animals under natural conditions to reveal ecologically adapted modes of learning. But biologists can more easily study what an animal learns than how it learns. For example, honeybees take repeated 'orientation' flights before becoming foragers at about three weeks of age. These flights are a prerequisite for successful homing. Little is known about these flights because orienting bees rapidly fly out of the range of human observation. Using harmonic radar, we show for the first time a striking ontogeny to honeybee orientation flights. With increased experience, bees hold trip duration constant but fly faster, so later trips cover a larger area than earlier trips. In addition, each flight is typically restricted to a narrow sector around the hive. Orientation flights provide honeybees with repeated opportunities to view the hive and landscape features from different viewpoints, suggesting that bees learn the local landscape in a progressive fashion. We also show that these changes in orientation flight are related to the number of previous flights taken instead of chronological age, suggesting a learning process adapted to changes in weather conditions, flower availability and the needs of bee colonies.

  6. 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

  7. Late Carboniferous paleoichnology reveals the oldest full-body impression of a flying insect.

    PubMed

    Knecht, Richard J; Engel, Michael S; Benner, Jacob S

    2011-04-19

    Insects were the first animals to evolve powered flight and did so perhaps 90 million years before the first flight among vertebrates. However, the earliest fossil record of flying insect lineages (Pterygota) is poor, with scant indirect evidence from the Devonian and a nearly complete dearth of material from the Early Carboniferous. By the Late Carboniferous a diversity of flying lineages is known, mostly from isolated wings but without true insights into the paleoethology of these taxa. Here, we report evidence of a full-body impression of a flying insect from the Late Carboniferous Wamsutta Formation of Massachusetts, representing the oldest trace fossil of Pterygota. Through ethological and morphological analysis, the trace fossil provides evidence that its maker was a flying insect and probably was representative of a stem-group lineage of mayflies. The nature of this current full-body impression somewhat blurs distinctions between the systematics of traces and trace makers, thus adding to the debate surrounding ichnotaxonomy for traces with well-associated trace makers.

  8. Quantifying food intake in socially housed monkeys: social status effects on caloric consumption.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Mark E; Fisher, Jeff; Fischer, Andrew; Lee, Vanessa; Harris, Ruth B; Bartness, Timothy J

    2008-07-01

    Obesity results from a number of factors including socio-environmental influences and rodent models show that several different stressors increase the preference for calorically dense foods leading to an obese phenotype. We present here a non-human primate model using socially housed adult female macaques living in long-term stable groups given access to diets of different caloric density. Consumption of a low fat (LFD; 15% of calories from fat) and a high fat diet (HFD; 45% of calories from fat) was quantified by means of a custom-built, automated feeder that dispensed a pellet of food when activated by a radiofrequency chip implanted subcutaneously in the animal's wrist. Socially subordinate females showed indices of chronic psychological stress having reduced glucocorticoid negative feedback and higher frequencies of anxiety-like behavior. Twenty-four hour intakes of both the LFD and HFD were significantly greater in subordinates than dominates, an effect that persisted whether standard monkey chow (13% of calories from fat) was present or absent. Furthermore, although dominants restricted their food intake to daylight, subordinates continued to feed at night. Total caloric intake was significantly correlated with body weight change. Collectively, these results show that food intake can be reliably quantified in non-human primates living in complex social environments and suggest that socially subordinate females consume more calories, suggesting this ethologically relevant model may help understand how psychosocial stress changes food preferences and consumption leading to obesity.

  9. 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.

  10. Effects of psychological stress and housing conditions on the delay of wound healing.

    PubMed

    Vegas, Óscar; VanBuskirk, JoAnne; Richardson, Steven; Parfitt, David; Helmreich, Dana; Rempel, Max; Moynihan, Jan; Tausk, Francisco

    2012-11-01

    This study explores the effects of stress and housing conditions on the healing of cutaneous wounds and its relationship with circulating levels of corticosterone. Specifically, we set out to examine the effect of combined physical (restraint stress and ultrasound) and psychological (predator scent) stressors on the cutaneous wound healing of female mice that had been housed either in groups (with social support; n= 16) or individually (without social support; n= 16). In contrast with other studies, the model of multiple ethological mild stressors utilized in this study significantly increased the levels of corticosterone, but failed to dramatically alter the healing of skin wounds. However, the results of this study provide evidence of the importance of housing conditions, suggesting that positive social interactions in females accelerate the rate of wound healing, and reduce levels of anxiety and circulating corticosterone. The level of anxiety, as well as the basal levels of corticosterone, proved to be valid predictors of the healing rates during different stages of cutaneous wound healing.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Major depression: behavioral parameters of depression and recovery.

    PubMed

    Schelde, J T

    1998-03-01

    This paper reports on an ethological study of 11 depressed hospitalized subjects. Major depression and recovery are described in terms of general behavioral traits, i.e., behavior parameters. The hypothesis, that the primary behavioral feature of major depression is a reduction of social interaction and that secondary features are reduced self occupation and body mobility (posture flexibility) is tested. The behavioral patterns of depression and recovery are described and elucidated by 12 defined behavioral parameters, eight of which show significant changes between the first and the last hospital week. Findings from six of the parameters are consistent with the hypothesis and demonstrate social inhibition during depression; interactions between depression and nonverbal behavior are particularly striking. Findings also confirm that, during depression, self occupation and body mobility are reduced to a less significant degree than social inhibition. Possible relationships between findings and agitated forms of major depression are discussed. A final section examines findings in an evolutionary context and emphasizes their clinical implications. PMID:9521349

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. The development of animal behavior: from Lorenz to neural nets.

    PubMed

    Bolhuis, J J

    1999-03-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Low-level repeated exposure to diazinon and chlorpyrifos decrease anxiety-like behaviour in adult male rats as assessed by marble burying behaviour.

    PubMed

    Savy, Claire Y; Fitchett, Ann E; McQuade, Richard; Gartside, Sarah E; Morris, Christopher M; Blain, Peter G; Judge, Sarah J

    2015-09-01

    Occupational exposure to organophosphate (OPs) pesticides is reported to increase in the risk of developing anxiety and depression. Preclinical studies using OP levels, which inhibit acetylcholinesterase activity, support the clinical observations, but little is known of the effects of exposure below this threshold. We examined the effects of low level OP exposure on behaviours and neurochemistry associated with affective disorders. Adult rats were administered either diazinon (1 mg/kg i.p.) which is present in sheep dip and flea collars, chlorpyrifos (1 mg/kg i.p.) which is present in crop sprays, or vehicle for 5 days. OP exposure did not affect acetylcholinesterase activity (blood, cerebellum, caudate putamen, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex), anhedonia-like behaviour (sucrose preference), working memory (novel object recognition), locomotor activity or anxiety-like behaviour in the open field arena. In contrast OP exposure attenuated marble burying behaviour, an ethological measure of anxiety. The diazinon-induced reduction in marble burying persisted after exposure cessation. In comparison to vehicle, dopamine levels were lowered by chlorpyrifos, but not diazinon. 5-HT levels and turnover were unaffected by OP exposure. However, 5-HT transporter expression was reduced by diazinon suggesting subtle changes in 5-HT transmission. These data indicate exposure to occupational and domestic OPs, below the threshold to inhibit acetylcholinesterase, can subtly alter behaviour and neurochemistry.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Clozapine: strong antiaggressive effects with minimal motor impairment.

    PubMed

    Garmendia, L; Sánchez, J R; Azpiroz, A; Brain, P F; Simón, V M

    1992-01-01

    Clinical studies have shown clozapine to be effective in the treatment of schizophrenia and associated with an extremely low incidence of extrapiramidal side effects. Diverse studies indicate that clozapine is an atypical neuroleptic with a preferential activity on the mesolimbic structures and a lower affinity for striatal D2 receptors than the classical antipsychotics. The purpose of this study was to assess the behavioral properties of clozapine, especially its effects on aggressive and motor behaviors. Individually housed male mice of the OF1 strain were exposed to anosmic "standard opponents" 30 minutes after the last drug administration. One category of animals received a single IP dose of the compound (0.2, 0.5, 1 or 1.5 mg/kg). Another category received daily doses (0.5, 1 or 1.5 mg/kg) for 21 days. Encounters were videotaped and behavior evaluated using an ethologically based analysis. Clozapine, in the acute treatment condition, produced a significant decrease in "attack" and "threat" behaviors without "immobility" being significantly increased. These results suggest a rather specific antiaggressive action of the compound with little motor impairment. In the chronic administration, no significant change in aggressive behavior was observed which may be attributed to the development of some degree of tolerance.

  8. 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

  9. [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.

  10. 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

  11. Impact of insecticide and fungicide residue contact on plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst), mobility and mortality: implications for pest management

    PubMed Central

    Leskey, Tracy C; Wright, Starker E; Saguez, Julien; Vincent, Charles

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND An evaluation was made of the effects of seven neurotoxic insecticides (esfenvalerate, indoxacarb, clothianidin, thiacloprid, azinphosmethyl, phosmet and imidacloprid), one insect growth regulator (novaluron) and two fungicides (myclobutanin and mancozeb), with water as the control, on the horizontal mobility of plum curculios exposed to dried pesticide residues. Mobility was recorded over a 2 h period using ethological tracking software. Mortality was recorded immediately after horizontal mobility experiments and 24 h later. RESULTS Esfenvalerate had the greatest impact on mobility. Immediately after exposure to this compound, plum curculios moved significantly greater distances and for a significantly longer period of time compared with all other compounds. After 24 h, esfenvalerate also led to high mortality rates (>86.0%). Exposure to azinphosmethyl and phosmet also led to high rates of mortality, although the impact on mobility was less pronounced. Exposure to indoxacarb, thiacloprid, imidacloprid, novaluron, myclobutanin and mancozeb had no impact on mobility and resulted in little to no mortality. Clothianidin affected mobility after a 2 h exposure period, and high mortality (60%) was recorded after 24 h. CONCLUSIONS The results indicate that, in the context of a treated orchard, plum curculios exposed to dried pesticide residues may be capable of foraging before succumbing to toxicant exposure, while exposure to pesticides such as esfenvalerate may rapidly incapacitate adult plum curculios. PMID:23213003

  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. 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

  14. Selection for increased voluntary wheel-running affects behavior and brain monoamines in mice.

    PubMed

    Waters, R Parrish; Pringle, R B; Forster, G L; Renner, K J; Malisch, J L; Garland, T; Swallow, J G

    2013-05-01

    Selective-breeding of house mice for increased voluntary wheel-running has resulted in multiple physiological and behavioral changes. Characterizing these differences may lead to experimental models that can elucidate factors involved in human diseases and disorders associated with physical inactivity, or potentially treated by physical activity, such as diabetes, obesity, and depression. Herein, we present ethological data for adult males from a line of mice that has been selectively bred for high levels of voluntary wheel-running and from a non-selected control line, housed with or without wheels. Additionally, we present concentrations of central monoamines in limbic, striatal, and midbrain regions. We monitored wheel-running for 8 weeks, and observed home-cage behavior during the last 5 weeks of the study. Mice from the selected line accumulated more revolutions per day than controls due to increased speed and duration of running. Selected mice exhibited more active behaviors than controls, regardless of wheel access, and exhibited less inactivity and grooming than controls. Selective-breeding also influenced the longitudinal patterns of behavior. We found statistically significant differences in monoamine concentrations and associated metabolites in brain regions that influence exercise and motivational state. These results suggest underlying neurochemical differences between selected and control lines that may influence the observed differences in behavior. Our results bolster the argument that selected mice can provide a useful model of human psychological and physiological diseases and disorders. PMID:23352668

  15. 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.

  16. Assessment of Social Cognition in Non-human Primates Using a Network of Computerized Automated Learning Device (ALDM) Test Systems

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Fagot & Paleressompoulle1 and Fagot & Bonte2 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 testing3. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Game theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Wako; Dolan, Ray J; Friston, Karl J

    2008-12-01

    This paper introduces a model of 'theory of mind', namely, how we represent the intentions and goals of others to optimise our mutual interactions. We draw on ideas from optimum control and game theory to provide a 'game theory of mind'. First, we consider the representations of goals in terms of value functions that are prescribed by utility or rewards. Critically, the joint value functions and ensuing behaviour are optimised recursively, under the assumption that I represent your value function, your representation of mine, your representation of my representation of yours, and so on ad infinitum. However, if we assume that the degree of recursion is bounded, then players need to estimate the opponent's degree of recursion (i.e., sophistication) to respond optimally. This induces a problem of inferring the opponent's sophistication, given behavioural exchanges. We show it is possible to deduce whether players make inferences about each other and quantify their sophistication on the basis of choices in sequential games. This rests on comparing generative models of choices with, and without, inference. Model comparison is demonstrated using simulated and real data from a 'stag-hunt'. Finally, we note that exactly the same sophisticated behaviour can be achieved by optimising the utility function itself (through prosocial utility), producing unsophisticated but apparently altruistic agents. This may be relevant ethologically in hierarchal game theory and coevolution.

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Electrochemical techniques for subsecond neurotransmitter detection in live rodents.

    PubMed

    Hascup, Kevin N; Hascup, Erin R

    2014-08-01

    Alterations in neurotransmission have been implicated in numerous neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Unfortunately, few techniques support the measurement of real-time changes in neurotransmitter levels over multiple days, as is essential for ethologic and pharmacodynamic testing. Microdialysis is commonly used for these research paradigms, but its poor temporal and spatial resolution make this technique inadequate for measuring the rapid dynamics (milliseconds to seconds) of fast signaling neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and acetylcholine. Enzymatic microelectrode arrays (biosensors) coupled with electrochemical recording techniques have demonstrated fast temporal resolution (less than 1 s), excellent spatial resolution (micron-scale), low detection limits (≤200 nM), and minimal damage (50 to 100 μm) to surrounding brain tissue. Here we discuss the benefits, methods, and animal welfare considerations of using platinum microelectrodes on a ceramic substrate for enzyme-based electrochemical recording techniques for real-time in vivo neurotransmitter recordings in both anesthetized and awake, freely moving rodents.

  5. 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.

  6. Human hippocampal processing of environmental novelty during spatial navigation

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Decision-making theories: linking the disparate research areas of individual and collective cognition.

    PubMed

    Pelé, Marie; Sueur, Cédric

    2013-07-01

    In order to maximize their fitness, animals have to deal with different environmental and social factors that affect their everyday life. Although the way an animal behaves might enhance its fitness or survival in regard to one factor, it could compromise them regarding another. In the domain of decision sciences, research concerning decision making focuses on performances at the individual level but also at the collective one. However, between individual and collective decision making, different terms are used resulting in little or no connection between both research areas. In this paper, we reviewed how different branches of decision sciences study the same concept, mainly called speed-accuracy trade-off, and how the different results are on the same track in terms of showing the optimality of decisions. Whatever the level, individual or collective, each decision might be defined with three parameters: time or delay to decide, risk and accuracy. We strongly believe that more progress would be possible in this domain of research if these different branches were better linked, with an exchange of their results and theories. A growing amount of literature describes economics in humans and eco-ethology in birds making compromises between starvation, predation and reproduction. Numerous studies have been carried out on social cognition in primates but also birds and carnivores, and other publications describe market or reciprocal exchanges of commodities. We therefore hope that this paper will lead these different areas to a common decision science.

  9. Motor cognition and its role in the phylogeny and ontogeny of action understanding.

    PubMed

    Gallese, Vittorio; Rochat, Magali; Cossu, Giuseppe; Sinigaglia, Corrado

    2009-01-01

    Social life rests in large part on the capacity to understand the intentions behind the behavior of others. What are the origins of this capacity? How is one to construe its development in ontogenesis? By assuming that action understanding can be explained only in terms of the ability to read the minds of others--that is, to represent mental states--the traditional view claims that a sharp discontinuity occurs in both phylogeny and ontogeny. Over the last few years this view has been challenged by a number of ethological and psychological studies, as well as by several neurophysiological findings. In particular, the functional properties of the mirror neuron system and its direct matching mechanism indicate that action understanding may be primarily based on the motor cognition that underpins one's own capacity to act. This article aims to elaborate and motivate the pivotal role of such motor cognition, providing a biologically plausible and theoretically unitary account for the phylogeny and ontogeny of action understanding and also its impairment, as in the case of autistic spectrum disorder.

  10. 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

    2014-03-05

    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.

  11. [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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Differential Influence of Frequency, Timing, and Intensity Cues in a Complex Acoustic Categorization Task

    PubMed Central

    Nagel, Katherine I.; McLendon, Helen M.

    2010-01-01

    Songbirds, which, like humans, learn complex vocalizations, provide an excellent model for the study of acoustic pattern recognition. Here we examined the role of three basic acoustic parameters in an ethologically relevant categorization task. Female zebra finches were first trained to classify songs as belonging to one of two males and then asked whether they could generalize this knowledge to songs systematically altered with respect to frequency, timing, or intensity. Birds' performance on song categorization fell off rapidly when songs were altered in frequency or intensity, but they generalized well to songs that were changed in duration by >25%. Birds were not deaf to timing changes, however; they detected these tempo alterations when asked to discriminate between the same song played back at two different speeds. In addition, when birds were retrained with songs at many intensities, they could correctly categorize songs over a wide range of volumes. Thus although they can detect all these cues, birds attend less to tempo than to frequency or intensity cues during song categorization. These results are unexpected for several reasons: zebra finches normally encounter a wide range of song volumes but most failed to generalize across volumes in this task; males produce only slight variations in tempo, but females generalized widely over changes in song duration; and all three acoustic parameters are critical for auditory neurons. Thus behavioral data place surprising constraints on the relationship between previous experience, behavioral task, neural responses, and perception. We discuss implications for models of auditory pattern recognition. PMID:20610781

  15. Neural and neurochemical basis of reinforcement-guided decision making.

    PubMed

    Khani, Abbas; Rainer, Gregor

    2016-08-01

    Decision making is an adaptive behavior that takes into account several internal and external input variables and leads to the choice of a course of action over other available and often competing alternatives. While it has been studied in diverse fields ranging from mathematics, economics, ecology, and ethology to psychology and neuroscience, recent cross talk among perspectives from different fields has yielded novel descriptions of decision processes. Reinforcement-guided decision making models are based on economic and reinforcement learning theories, and their focus is on the maximization of acquired benefit over a defined period of time. Studies based on reinforcement-guided decision making have implicated a large network of neural circuits across the brain. This network includes a wide range of cortical (e.g., orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex) and subcortical (e.g., nucleus accumbens and subthalamic nucleus) brain areas and uses several neurotransmitter systems (e.g., dopaminergic and serotonergic systems) to communicate and process decision-related information. This review discusses distinct as well as overlapping contributions of these networks and neurotransmitter systems to the processing of decision making. We end the review by touching on neural circuitry and neuromodulatory regulation of exploratory decision making.

  16. 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.

  17. [Buffon, the director of 'Jardin du Roi' in the 1700s].

    PubMed

    Jeune, Bernard; Petersen, Hans Christian

    2008-01-01

    Buffon and Linné were the two greatest naturalists of the 1700s. As they were both born in 1707, their 300 anniversaries were therefore celebrated in France and Sweden. At the celebration meeting at the University of Bourgogne in Dijon - The Buffon Legacy - September 3-6, 2007, we presented the following paper: "Buffon and the longevity of species". In the present paper the life and work of Buffon is introduced on the basis of recent literature, including Jacques Roger's famous biography. Among non-biologists Buffon has nearly been forgotten, even though in the 1700s he was considered to be at the same level as the most famous French thinkers of the Enlightenment - Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot. His largest contributions were the publication of his comprehensive "Histoire naturelle" and his long and significant leadership of "Jardin du Roi", which he built up to become one of the best scientific institutions of Europe. Buffon's scientific contributions wereas overshadowed by those of Linné, as it was his classification system, which became dominant all overn Europe. Buffon's student Lamarck and later Darwin contributed by pushing Buffon in oblivion of history, even though Darwin valued him highly. However, in recent decades Buffon is experiencing a renaissance in connection with the increasing interest in biological anthropology, biogeography, ethology, and ecology, as well as on account of his modern species concept. PMID:19831292

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Assessing anxiety in nonhuman primates.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The neural bases for empathy.

    PubMed

    Shamay-Tsoory, Simone G

    2011-02-01

    Human empathy relies on the ability to share emotions as well as the ability to understand the other's thoughts, desires, and feelings. Recent evidence points to 2 separate systems for empathy: an emotional system that supports our ability to empathize emotionally and a cognitive system that involves cognitive understanding of the other's perspective. Converging evidence from neuroimaging and lesion studies shows that a neural network that includes the inferior frontal gyrus and the inferior parietal lobule is necessary for emotion recognition and emotional contagion. On the other hand, the involvement of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, temporoparietal junction, and the medial temporal lobe in self-reflection and autobiographical memory places these key regions as necessary for cognitive empathy. The proposed dissociation between these systems is supported by recent neurochemical experiments involving administration of oxytocin as well as by ethological, psychiatric, and developmental studies. Finally, although the emotional and cognitive systems appear to work independently, every empathic response may still evoke both components to some extent, depending on the social context. PMID:21071616

  5. 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.

  6. Westermarck's altruism.

    PubMed

    Salter, Frank

    2008-09-01

    The ethologically oriented method of social analysis developed by Edward Westermarck is applied to the subjects of charitable behavior, the welfare ethic, and the link between them. Westermarck dealt with these topics, but not in the depth he accorded the subjects of incest aversion, the incest prohibition, and the connection between them. Westermarck's approach to analyzing incest behavior and regulating institutions is also useful in the case of charitableness and the welfare ethic. Westermarck would have analyzed the welfare ethic as an institution derived from human nature--secundam naturam--in addition to an authoritative discipliner of behavior as proposed by Freud. Evidence is presented that this is the case with the welfare ethic in modern societies. This evidence includes the sensitivity of welfare to ethnic diversity. The latter decreases public altruism, whether expressed as charitableness to beggars, national charities, or public goods. The parochial leaning of charity and the welfare ethic is allowed for by Westermarck's empirically grounded ethics. Despite the passage of nearly a century, Edward Westermarck can still be an instructive guide to the biosociological enterprise. This continuing relevance shows what could have been, and can still be, done with the conceptual tools offered by an evolutionarily informed sociology.

  7. Genetics of hybridization between Drosophila simulans females and D. melanogaster males.

    PubMed

    Carracedo, M C; Suarez, A; Asenjo, A; Casares, P

    1998-01-01

    Drosophila simulans and D. melanogaster are sibling cosmopolitan species with imperfect ethological isolation. Hybridization is easy between D. melanogaster females and D. simulans males, but the reciprocal cross has been traditionally considered as very scarce and little is known about the environmental and genetic factors that affect it. We used classical genetic analyses to determine the influence of each major chromosome on the breakdown of sexual isolation between females of D. simulans and D. melanogaster males. In addition, we have made a first attempt to locate the genetic systems involved in this process. At least two genes, or two groups of genes, are responsible for hybridization, located in the X chromosome and in the left arm of chromosome II. The inheritance mode of both genetic systems is different. The genes in the X chromosome show dominance for high levels of hybridization, whereas those in chromosome II show dominance for low levels. These results contrast with other investigations on the melanogaster subgroup, suggesting independent evolutionary events events during the speciation process in each species. PMID:9474773

  8. 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.

  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.

  10. Collective behavior in animal groups: theoretical models and empirical studies

    PubMed Central

    Giardina, Irene

    2008-01-01

    Collective phenomena in animal groups have attracted much attention in the last years, becoming one of the hottest topics in ethology. There are various reasons for this. On the one hand, animal grouping provides a paradigmatic example of self-organization, where collective behavior emerges in absence of centralized control. The mechanism of group formation, where local rules for the individuals lead to a coherent global state, is very general and transcends the detailed nature of its components. In this respect, collective animal behavior is a subject of great interdisciplinary interest. On the other hand, there are several important issues related to the biological function of grouping and its evolutionary success. Research in this field boasts a number of theoretical models, but much less empirical results to compare with. For this reason, even if the general mechanisms through which self-organization is achieved are qualitatively well understood, a quantitative test of the models assumptions is still lacking. New analysis on large groups, which require sophisticated technological procedures, can provide the necessary empirical data. PMID:19404431

  11. A dispersal-dependent zone of introgressive hybridization between weakfish, Cynoscion regalis, and sand seatrout, C. arenarius, (Sciaenidae) in the Florida Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Tringali, Michael D; Seyoum, Seifu; Higham, Maryanne; Wallace, Elizabeth M

    2011-01-01

    Five diagnostic codominant nuclear DNA markers and a diagnostic mitochondrial DNA marker were used to survey weakfish (Cynoscion regalis) and sand seatrout (C. arenarius), with particular focus on heretofore uncharacterized juvenile populations along the Florida (FL) Atlantic coast. Geographic and reproductive ranges of weakfish and sand seatrout were shown to overlap on the Atlantic coast along north and central FL. An active bidirectional zone of introgressive hybridization exists between these taxa, centered in the St Johns River, FL. Strong patterns of Hardy-Weinberg, linkage, and cytonuclear disequilibrium and a bimodal hybrid index distribution were observed for juvenile cohorts in the zone center, coupled with narrow (∼240 km) concordant clines. Parental forms had disparate habitat preferences; hybrid forms occurred predominantly in intermediate habitats. All genetic data were consistent with the hypothesis that the C. arenarius-C. regalis hybrid zone is maintained by a dynamic equilibrium between continued interspecific gene flow and one or more opposing forces. Cytonuclear analyses indicated that parental forms mate assortatively in the zone but that mate recognition was imperfect. Ethological mating dynamics are likely stabilized by some form of endogenous or exogenous postfertilization selection against hybrids such that parental taxa will likely continue to evolve independently. PMID:21670172

  12. [From pseudopregnancy to anorexia nervosa].

    PubMed

    Demaret, A

    1991-01-01

    Translated in the primeval environment where humanization evolved during millions of years (man's environment of evolutionary adaptation, according to Bowlby), the characteristic behaviours of anorectics and bulimics do not look unfavourable but on the contrary adaptive, helping to the survival of the group or kinship (hyperactivity, altruistic feeding, etc.). Analogies, indeed homologies, exist in many animal species, distant or closely related to us (social insects, birds, mammals including primates) observed in nature. It concerns altruistic behaviours described among individuals, for the most part females, referred to as allomothers (aunts) or helpers (co-operative breeding) in ethological terms. From this evolutionary perspective, a biological genetic basis would exist in anorexia and bulimia, as a component of a phylogenetic inheritance of the K-selection strategy of reproduction. At the present time, anorexia would be a pathological extreme of this strategy, whereas pseudocyesis would be, on the contrary, one of the r-selection. Diverse and varying sociocultural and demographic conditions prevailing in modern world would revive either of these phylogenetic programs of reproductive strategies, leading as the case may be, to adaptive or pathological reproductive or helping behaviours.

  13. Acute predator stress impairs the consolidation and retrieval of hippocampus-dependent memory in male and female rats

    PubMed Central

    Park, Collin R.; Zoladz, Phillip R.; Conrad, Cheryl D.; Fleshner, Monika; Diamond, David M.

    2008-01-01

    We have studied the effects of an acute predator stress experience on spatial learning and memory in adult male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. All rats were trained to learn the location of a hidden escape platform in the radial-arm water maze (RAWM), a hippocampus-dependent spatial memory task. In the control (non-stress) condition, female rats were superior to the males in the accuracy and consistency of their spatial memory performance tested over multiple days of training. In the stress condition, rats were exposed to the cat for 30 min immediately before or after learning, or before the 24-h memory test. Predator stress dramatically increased corticosterone levels in males and females, with females exhibiting greater baseline and stress-evoked responses than males. Despite these sex differences in the overall magnitudes of corticosterone levels, there were significant sex-independent correlations involving basal and stress-evoked corticosterone levels, and memory performance. Most importantly, predator stress impaired short-term memory, as well as processes involved in memory consolidation and retrieval, in male and female rats. Overall, we have found that an intense, ethologically relevant stressor produced a largely equivalent impairment of memory in male and female rats, and sex-independent corticosterone-memory correlations. These findings may provide insight into commonalities in how traumatic stress affects the brain and memory in men and women. PMID:18391188

  14. 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

  15. [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

  16. [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.

  17. Neurobehavioral tests in rat models of degenerative brain diseases.

    PubMed

    Urbach, Yvonne K; Bode, Felix J; Nguyen, Huu Phuc; Riess, Olaf; von Hörsten, Stephan

    2010-01-01

    Each translational approach in medical research forces the establishment of neurobehavioral screening systems, dedicated to fill the gap between postgenomic generation of state-of-the-art animal models (i.e. transgenic rats) on the one hand and their added value for really predictive experimental preclinical therapy on the other. Owing to these developments in the field, neuroscientists are frequently challenged by the task of detecting discrete behavioral differences in rats. Systematic, comprehensive phenotyping covers these needs and represents a central part of the process. In this chapter, we provide an overview on theoretical issues related to comprehensive neurobehavioral phenotyping of rats and propose specific classical procedures, protocols (similar to the SHIRPA approach in mice), as well as techniques for repeated, intraindividual phenotyping. Neurological testing of rats, motorfunctional screening using the accelerod approach, emotional screening using the social interaction test of anxiety, and testing of sensorimotoric gating functions by prepulse inhibition of the startle response are provided in more detail. This description is completed by an outlook on most recent developments in the field dealing with automated, intra-home-cage technologies, allowing continuous screening in rats in various behavioral and physiological dimensions on an ethological basis.

  18. 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

  19. Defensive responses of Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) to stored cat feces.

    PubMed

    Hegab, Ibrahim M; Jin, Yajuan; Ye, Manhong; Wang, Aiqin; Yin, Baofa; Yang, Shengmei; Wei, Wanhong

    2014-01-17

    Predator odors are non-intrusive natural stressors of high ethological relevance. Animals are daily challenged with stressors of varying intensity and it is essential for their survival to respond to a wide range of threats. Behavioral and hormonal responses and changes in the level of medial hypothalamic c-fos mRNA were examined in Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) exposed to the feces of a domestic cat (Felis catus) stored for different periods. One hundred voles were tested in the defensive withdrawal apparatus. The voles showed an aversion to freshly collected cat feces, indicated by high levels of flight-related behaviors, increased freezing behavior, and more vigilant rearing compared to old feces. The serum levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone significantly increased when the voles were exposed to fresh cat feces. The level of c-fos mRNA in the medial hypothalamic region was highest in the individuals exposed to fresh cat feces. All of these behavioral, endocrine and c-fos-mRNA responses were lower when voles were subjected to older cat feces. We conclude that these responses depend on volatile chemical constituents of cat feces rather than their physical characteristics and that this accounts for the lower responses to feces stored for longer periods.

  20. Neural and neurochemical basis of reinforcement-guided decision making.

    PubMed

    Khani, Abbas; Rainer, Gregor

    2016-08-01

    Decision making is an adaptive behavior that takes into account several internal and external input variables and leads to the choice of a course of action over other available and often competing alternatives. While it has been studied in diverse fields ranging from mathematics, economics, ecology, and ethology to psychology and neuroscience, recent cross talk among perspectives from different fields has yielded novel descriptions of decision processes. Reinforcement-guided decision making models are based on economic and reinforcement learning theories, and their focus is on the maximization of acquired benefit over a defined period of time. Studies based on reinforcement-guided decision making have implicated a large network of neural circuits across the brain. This network includes a wide range of cortical (e.g., orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex) and subcortical (e.g., nucleus accumbens and subthalamic nucleus) brain areas and uses several neurotransmitter systems (e.g., dopaminergic and serotonergic systems) to communicate and process decision-related information. This review discusses distinct as well as overlapping contributions of these networks and neurotransmitter systems to the processing of decision making. We end the review by touching on neural circuitry and neuromodulatory regulation of exploratory decision making. PMID:27226454

  1. [On spatio-temporality. A psychiatric and interdisciplinary study].

    PubMed

    Marchais, P; Randrup, A

    1991-01-01

    There is no scientific knowledge without a method, no method without a minimum of theory and no theory without a general frame of reference. The concepts of space and time constitute undoubtedly the most comprehensive frame of reference; it is relevant both to the interior, experienced world of man and to the universe in which he lives. The concepts of space and time, which have emerged from various disciplines such as philosophy, cosmology, physics, biology, neurophysiology, ethology and psychiatry show a certain number of mutual relations and even connections. Characteristically, these concepts fit in with the levels, integrations, communications and self-regulations, all the structural properties, which are emphasized by the model of mental disturbances, created by application of a special systems approach, the "systemal method", to the psychiatric clinic. This structural isomorphism between the mental disturbances and the cognitive concepts of space-time reinforce by feed-back the validity of the systemal method. It also indicates the relevance of the basic sciences to the further development of psychiatry. PMID:1952526

  2. 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.

  3. A Japanese view on speciation: "Sumiwake" explosive speciation of the cichlids in Lake Victoria.

    PubMed

    Kawamiya, Nobuo

    2003-01-01

    Imanishi's "mental" (cerebral) view of speciation is presented, in Mizuhata's revision. The key concept here is the "ethological partition" of the species. Members of each species=society (etho-species) share the same mental (brain) software, irrespective of their genetic structure. Cerebral animals perform active programmed selection, not to be confused with passive, non-programmed "natural selection" as in Neo-Darwinism. The program includes mating-choice of peculiar characters, distinct from the Neo-Darwinian sexual selection supposed due to the specific choosy genes. Speciation can occur, as a "partition of species=society", with bifurcation of mate-choosing program in the parent species. A main promoter for this bifurcation is species-specific "passion" for especially significant characters: long necks, ornamental antlers, ocelli feathers, bright nuptial colors etc. The cichlids in Lake Victoria achieved explosive speciation, while retaining their genetic homogeneity completely. Therefore it is illogical to attribute this divergence to extraordinary mutations in "action controlling genes". The origin of species=society (etho-species) can trace along to the Cambrian Period.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2015-05-05

    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.

  8. [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

  9. 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

  10. Enhanced habit-based learning and decreased neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus in a murine model of chronic social stress.

    PubMed

    Ferragud, A; Haro, A; Sylvain, A; Velázquez-Sánchez, C; Hernández-Rabaza, V; Canales, J J

    2010-06-26

    Stress can induce preferential engagement of habit learning mediated by the basal ganglia, relative to learning that involves complex spatial associations contributed by the hippocampal formation. We explored in mice the influence that chronic episodes of social stress exert on the selection of cognitive/spatial vs. habit-based learning strategies. Male mice were exposed to repeated episodes of social confrontation and were categorized as dominant, subordinate or undetermined according to quantitative ethologically relevant parameters of aggression. Mice were then trained in a conditional discrimination task in the T-maze in the presence of allocentric cues until five correct choices were made. The T-maze was then turned 180 degrees and mice were categorized as "cue-learners" or "place-learners" on the basis of their first response in the probe test. Mice showed a graded preference for place vs. cue learning strategies depending on their social categorization (control>undetermined>dominant>subordinate), which ranged from 55% in controls to only 10% in subordinate mice. The response of subordinate mice differed significantly from controls. Hippocampal neurogenesis was studied in the different groups of mice. In keeping with the tendency to engage habit learning, 2,5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation in the DG was reduced in mice that experienced agonistic encounters, and so was the expression of doublecortin, a marker for immature neurons. These observations suggest that chronic social stress impairs neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus, weakens spatial learning and strengthens habit-like responses.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Two identified looming detectors in the locust: ubiquitous lateral connections among their inputs contribute to selective responses to looming objects

    PubMed Central

    Rind, F. Claire; Wernitznig, Stefan; Pölt, Peter; Zankel, Armin; Gütl, Daniel; Sztarker, Julieta; Leitinger, Gerd

    2016-01-01

    In locusts, two lobula giant movement detector neurons (LGMDs) act as looming object detectors. Their reproducible responses to looming and their ethological significance makes them models for single neuron computation. But there is no comprehensive picture of the neurons that connect directly to each LGMD. We used high-through-put serial block-face scanning-electron-microscopy to reconstruct the network of input-synapses onto the LGMDs over spatial scales ranging from single synapses and small circuits, up to dendritic branches and total excitatory input. Reconstructions reveal that many trans-medullary-afferents (TmAs) connect the eye with each LGMD, one TmA per facet per LGMD. But when a TmA synapses with an LGMD it also connects laterally with another TmA. These inter-TmA synapses are always reciprocal. Total excitatory input to the LGMD 1 and 2 comes from 131,000 and 186,000 synapses reaching densities of 3.1 and 2.6 synapses per μm2 respectively. We explored the computational consequences of reciprocal synapses between each TmA and 6 others from neighbouring columns. Since any lateral interactions between LGMD inputs have always been inhibitory we may assume these reciprocal lateral connections are most likely inhibitory. Such reciprocal inhibitory synapses increased the LGMD’s selectivity for looming over passing objects, particularly at the beginning of object approach. PMID:27774991

  15. Genetics of hybridization between Drosophila simulans females and D. melanogaster males.

    PubMed

    Carracedo, M C; Suarez, A; Asenjo, A; Casares, P

    1998-01-01

    Drosophila simulans and D. melanogaster are sibling cosmopolitan species with imperfect ethological isolation. Hybridization is easy between D. melanogaster females and D. simulans males, but the reciprocal cross has been traditionally considered as very scarce and little is known about the environmental and genetic factors that affect it. We used classical genetic analyses to determine the influence of each major chromosome on the breakdown of sexual isolation between females of D. simulans and D. melanogaster males. In addition, we have made a first attempt to locate the genetic systems involved in this process. At least two genes, or two groups of genes, are responsible for hybridization, located in the X chromosome and in the left arm of chromosome II. The inheritance mode of both genetic systems is different. The genes in the X chromosome show dominance for high levels of hybridization, whereas those in chromosome II show dominance for low levels. These results contrast with other investigations on the melanogaster subgroup, suggesting independent evolutionary events events during the speciation process in each species.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Active Spatial Perception in the Vibrissa Scanning Sensorimotor System

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Samar B; Whitmer, Diane; Figueroa, Rodolfo; Williams, Ben A; Kleinfeld, David

    2007-01-01

    Haptic perception is an active process that provides an awareness of objects that are encountered as an organism scans its environment. In contrast to the sensation of touch produced by contact with an object, the perception of object location arises from the interpretation of tactile signals in the context of the changing configuration of the body. A discrete sensory representation and a low number of degrees of freedom in the motor plant make the ethologically prominent rat vibrissa system an ideal model for the study of the neuronal computations that underlie this perception. We found that rats with only a single vibrissa can combine touch and movement to distinguish the location of objects that vary in angle along the sweep of vibrissa motion. The patterns of this motion and of the corresponding behavioral responses show that rats can scan potential locations and decide which location contains a stimulus within 150 ms. This interval is consistent with just one to two whisk cycles and provides constraints on the underlying perceptual computation. Our data argue against strategies that do not require the integration of sensory and motor modalities. The ability to judge angular position with a single vibrissa thus connects previously described, motion-sensitive neurophysiological signals to perception in the behaving animal. PMID:17227143

  18. Sexual behavior in ewes and other domestic ruminants.

    PubMed

    Fabre-Nys, C; Gelez, H

    2007-06-01

    Similarities as well as differences across species in the control of sexual behavior are helping to fully understand the subtle relations between physiology and eco-ethological constraints and how the brain integrates such information. We will illustrate this with sexual behavior in domestic ruminants and especially ewes. Females of these species like humans, but unlike rodents, have a long luteal phase. A prolonged exposure to progesterone (Pg) before the preovulatory estradiol rise is necessary for estrous behavior to be displayed. Estradiol action and receptor localization is very similar to that observed in other species. But not too surprisingly, the role of Pg is rather different with a priming effect not observed in rodents. However, as in rodents, Pg also has an inhibitory effect, is necessary for the display of proceptivity and is responsible for the timing of the different periovulatory events. These steroids act on the central nervous system in similar areas across mammalian species to regulate estrous behavior. Steroid fluctuations during the estrous cycle cause changes in catecholaminergic activity in the hypothalamus. Interestingly, these neurotransmitters seem to have very similar effects in ewes and rats as illustrated by the norepinephrine rise after male-female interactions observed in both species. Similar comparisons can be made regarding the action of some neuropeptides, including oxytocin and GnRH, and more integrative processes like sexual differentiation and modulation of reproduction by social interactions. Data on sheep, goats and cows will be compared with those of rodents. PMID:17499740

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The perception of self in birds.

    PubMed

    Derégnaucourt, Sébastien; Bovet, Dalila

    2016-10-01

    The perception of self is an important topic in several disciplines such as ethology, behavioral ecology, psychology, developmental and cognitive neuroscience. Self-perception is investigated by experimentally exposing different species of animals to self-stimuli such as their own image, smell or vocalizations. Here we review more than one hundred studies using these methods in birds, a taxonomic group that exhibits a rich diversity regarding ecology and behavior. Exposure to self-image is the main method for studying self-recognition, while exposing birds to their own smell is generally used for the investigation of homing or odor-based kin discrimination. Self-produced vocalizations - especially in oscine songbirds - are used as stimuli for understanding the mechanisms of vocal coding/decoding both at the neural and at the behavioral levels. With this review, we highlight the necessity to study the perception of self in animals cross-modally and to consider the role of experience and development, aspects that can be easily monitored in captive populations of birds. PMID:27461916

  3. Anxiolytic-like effect of (S)-WAY 100135, a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, in the murine elevated plus-maze test.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, R J; Cole, J C

    1994-08-22

    The effects of (S)-WAY 100135 ((S)-N-tert-butyl-3-(4-(2-methoxyphenyl)- piperazin-1-yl)-2-phenyl-propanamide dihydrochloride; 2.5-20.0 mg/kg), a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, on the behaviour of male mice were examined in the elevated plus-maze test of anxiety. An ethological scoring technique was used to provide a comprehensive profile of drug action. Only minor changes in behaviour were observed at 2.5 and 5.0 mg/kg, and consisted of reductions in some (though not all) risk assessment measures. At 10 mg/kg, the compound increased percent open arm entries and percent open arm time, without altering general activity levels. This classic anxiolytic-like profile was confirmed by major reductions in risk assessment measures including protected head-dips and protected stretched attend postures. Although many of the same changes were also observed at 20 mg/kg, the absence of an effect on percent open arm time and a tendency towards increased non-exploratory behaviour suggested (1) some loss of anxiolytic activity and (2) a possible contribution of non-specific factors at higher doses. Present findings indicate that (S)-WAY 100135 produces clear anxiolytic-like effects in the murine elevated plus-maze, a profile that can be distinguished from that produced by 5-HT1A receptor partial agonists in the same test.

  4. Efficacy of Chronic Antidepressant Treatments in a New Model of Extreme Anxiety in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Javelot, Hervé; Weiner, Luisa; Terramorsi, Roxane; Rougeot, Catherine; Lalonde, Robert; Messaoudi, Michaël

    2011-01-01

    Animal models of anxious disorders found in humans, such as panic disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder, usually include spontaneous and conditioned fear that triggers escape and avoidance behaviors. The development of a panic disorder model with a learned component should increase knowledge of mechanisms involved in anxiety disorders. In our ethological model of extreme anxiety in the rat, forced apnea was combined with cold water vaporization in an inescapable situation. Based on the reactions of vehicle controls, behaviors involved in paroxysmic fear were passive (freezing) and active (jumping) reactions. Our results show that subchronic fluoxetine (5 mg/kg, IP, 21 days) and imipramine (10 mg/kg, IP, 14 days) administration alleviated freezing and jumping behaviors, whereas acute fluoxetine (1 mg/kg, IP) provoked opposite effects. Acute low dose of diazepam (1 mg/kg, IP) was not effective, whereas the higher dose of 3 mg/kg, IP, and clonazepam (1 mg/kg, IP) only had an effect on jumping. Paroxysmic fear generated in this experimental condition may therefore mimic the symptomatology observed in patients with anxiety disorders. PMID:21808731

  5. 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

  6. Pharmacological effect of gelsemine on anxiety-like behavior in rat.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Laurence; Boujedaini, Naoual; Patte-Mensah, Christine; Mensah-Nyagan, Ayikoe G

    2013-09-15

    The chemical compound gelsemine is the major active principle of the yellow jasmine (Gelsemium) that is generally claimed as possessing anxiolytic properties based on empirical and indirect knowledge. Surprisingly, gelsemine effect on anxiety has until now received only little attention. Here, we used the well-validated method for anxiety assessment, the elevated plus-maze combined with video-tracking, to measure gelsemine action on rat anxiety-like behavior. Rats were intraperitoneally injected (500μl/daily/7days) with gelsemine (10(-6), 10(-10) or 10(-14)M) or control solution. Diazepam (DZP) was used as positive standard anxiolytic and additional controls were naive rats similarly manipulated except being injected. Gelsemine or diazepam treatment did not affect the number of closed arm entries and rears illustrating the rat general activity. In contrast, gelsemine (10(-6) to 10(-10)M) or DZP increased dose-dependently the number of entries and the percent of time spent in the open arms indicating that gelsemine is an anxiolytic. Consistently, we observed that gelsemine (10(-6) to 10(-10)M) or DZP also decreased dose-dependently the percent of protected stretched attend postures, an ethological index of anxiety-like state. Altogether, our results constitute a solid set of fundamental data directly demonstrating anxiolytic properties of gelsemine. The report also opens new perspectives for the development of safe and effective gelsemine- or Gelsemium-based strategies against pathological anxiety.

  7. Meaning in the avian auditory cortex: Neural representation of communication calls

    PubMed Central

    Elie, Julie E; Theunissen, Frédéric E

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how the brain extracts the behavioral meaning carried by specific vocalization types that can be emitted by various vocalizers and in different conditions is a central question in auditory research. This semantic categorization is a fundamental process required for acoustic communication and presupposes discriminative and invariance properties of the auditory system for conspecific vocalizations. Songbirds have been used extensively to study vocal learning, but the communicative function of all their vocalizations and their neural representation has yet to be examined. In our research, we first generated a library containing almost the entire zebra finch vocal repertoire and organized communication calls along 9 different categories based on their behavioral meaning. We then investigated the neural representations of these semantic categories in the primary and secondary auditory areas of 6 anesthetized zebra finches. To analyze how single units encode these call categories, we described neural responses in terms of their discrimination, selectivity and invariance properties. Quantitative measures for these neural properties were obtained using an optimal decoder based both on spike counts and spike patterns. Information theoretic metrics show that almost half of the single units encode semantic information. Neurons achieve higher discrimination of these semantic categories by being more selective and more invariant. These results demonstrate that computations necessary for semantic categorization of meaningful vocalizations are already present in the auditory cortex and emphasize the value of a neuro-ethological approach to understand vocal communication. PMID:25728175

  8. Role of sexual selection in speciation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Singh, Akanksha; Singh, Bashisth N

    2014-02-01

    The power of sexual selection to drive changes in the mate recognition system through divergence in sexually selected traits gives it the potential to be a potent force in speciation. To know how sexual selection can bring such type of divergence in the genus Drosophila, comparative studies based on intra- and inter-sexual selection are documented in this review. The studies provide evidence that both mate choice and male-male competition can cause selection of trait and preference which thereby leads to divergence among species. In the case of intrasexual selection, various kinds of signals play significant role in affecting the species mate recognition system and hence causing divergence between the species. However, intrasexual selection can bring the intraspecific divergence at the level of pre- and post-copulatory stage. This has been better explained through Hawaiian Drosophila which has been suggested a wonderful model system in explaining the events of speciation via sexual selection. This is due to their elaborate mating displays and some kind of ethological isolation persisting among them. Similarly, the genetic basis of sexually selected variations can provide yet another path in understanding the speciation genetics via sexual selection more closely.

  9. [Quality of life].

    PubMed

    Volf, N

    1991-01-01

    The term "Quality of life" appeared at the end of the fifties of this century, it seems in the philosophical and sociological vocabulary at first, and soon after that it became adjusted in medical and non-medical (politics, ethology, mass media) use. In the last few years this term has been used all the more frequently in different branches of medicine because of a more extended human lifetime, due to the development of medicine, the domination of chronic diseases in the pathology of well-developed environments, and because of the growing influence of socio-psychological viewpoints in the bounds of medicine as well. Time will show whether only a transient, "fashionable" term is in question, or if a lasting survival in medical vocabulary has been ensured. This paper analyses the development and the contents of the quality of life concept, it's ethical connotation, the application in different branches of medicine, as well as the principals and problems of it's measurement for clinical purposes. The literature contributed includes 75 domestic and foreign authentic references. PMID:1921860

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. [Role of modern hunting in wildlife management].

    PubMed

    Cao, Shi; Zhou, Xue-Hong; Zhang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Although modern hunting is different from traditional hunting, it remains a controversial topic. A large number of scholars in the world have studied the effects of hunting on wild animals from an ecological, ethological, genetic and economic aspect. This paper reviewed the role of controlled hunting in wildlife production from population dynamics, behavior, genetic and a phenotypic level, and by integrating a large number of domestic and foreign literatures. Many studies have shown that regulated hunting is an efficient approach in managing wildlife populations, which could be beneficial to the recovery and possibly even growth of wildlife populations. Meanwhile, over-exploitation or inappropriate hunting could affect the sex, birth and mortality ratios of wildlife populations, change foraging behavior and socio-spatial behavior and generate artificial selection of their genotype and phenotype. To apply modern hunting properly to wildlife management, China could learn from successful hunting programs implemented in many other countries, which are based on ecological and economic principles to formulate scientifically determined hunting quotas and set up an effective system to regulate and manage the hunting of wildlife populations. PMID:24765874

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Oxidative stress mediates dibutyl phthalateinduced anxiety-like behavior in Kunming mice.

    PubMed

    Yan, Biao; Guo, Junhui; Liu, Xudong; Li, Jinquan; Yang, Xu; Ma, Ping; Wu, Yang

    2016-07-01

    Among all phthalate esters, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is only second to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in terms of adverse health outcomes, and its potential cerebral neurotoxicity has raised concern in recent years. DBP exposure has been reported to be responsible for neurobehavioral effects and related neurological diseases. In this study, we found that neurobehavioral changes induced by DBP may be mediated by oxidative damage in the mouse brain, and that the co-administration of Mangiferin (MAG, 50mg/kg/day) may protect the brain against oxidative damage caused by DBP exposure. The results of ethological analysis (elevated plus maze test and open-field test), histopathological examination of the brain, and assessments of oxidative stress (OS) in the mouse brain showed that there is a link between oxidative stress and anxiety-like behavior produced by DBP at higher doses (25 or 125mg/kg/day). Biomarkers of oxidative stress encompass reactive oxygen species (ROS), glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA) and DPC coefficients (DPC). MAG (50mg/kg/day),administered as an antioxidant,can attenuatetheanxiety-like behavior of the tested mice. PMID:27262985

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Variability in action: Contributions of a songbird cortical-basal ganglia circuit to vocal motor learning and control.

    PubMed

    Woolley, S C; Kao, M H

    2015-06-18

    Many motor behaviors, from walking to speaking, are acquired through experience, in particular, through trial-and-error learning. The acquisition and maintenance of such motor behaviors in a wide range of species, including humans, appear to depend on cortical-basal ganglia circuits. In this review, we discuss recent studies in songbirds that have been pivotal in informing our current understanding of motor learning and cortical-basal ganglia function. Songbirds are important ethological model systems for the study of motor learning because young songbirds naturally develop and refine their songs through trial-and-error learning. In addition, reinforcement mechanisms are hypothesized to be important for the maintenance and plasticity of structured adult song. Computational and experimental studies highlight the importance of vocal motor variability as the substrate upon which reinforcement mechanisms could operate to shape developing song and to maintain adult song. Recent studies in songbirds indicate that this vocal motor variability is actively generated and modulated by a highly specialized cortical-basal ganglia circuit evolved for a single behavior, song. We argue that these and other recent findings illustrate how the tight association between a specialized neural circuit and a natural behavior make songbirds a unique and powerful model in which to investigate the neural substrates of motor learning and plasticity.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Transgenerational effects of social stress on social behavior, corticosterone, oxytocin, and prolactin in rats.

    PubMed

    Babb, Jessica A; Carini, Lindsay M; Spears, Stella L; Nephew, Benjamin C

    2014-04-01

    Social stressors such as depressed maternal care and family conflict are robust challenges which can have long-term physiological and behavioral effects on offspring and future generations. The current study investigates the transgenerational effects of an ethologically relevant chronic social stress on the behavior and endocrinology of juvenile and adult rats. Exposure to chronic social stress during lactation impairs maternal care in F0 lactating dams and the maternal care of the F1 offspring of those stressed F0 dams. The overall hypothesis was that the male and female F2 offspring of stressed F1 dams would display decreased social behavior as both juveniles and adults and that these behavioral effects would be accompanied by changes in plasma corticosterone, prolactin, and oxytocin. Both the female and male F2 offspring of dams exposed to chronic social stress displayed decreased social behavior as juveniles and adults, and these behavioral effects were accompanied by decreases in basal concentrations of corticosterone in both sexes, as well as elevated juvenile oxytocin and decreased adult prolactin in the female offspring. The data support the conclusion that social stress has transgenerational effects on the social behavior of the female and male offspring which are mediated by changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Social stress models are valuable resources in the study of the transgenerational effects of stress on the behavioral endocrinology of disorders such as depression, anxiety, autism, and other disorders involving disrupted social behavior.

  3. Reaction time to threat stimuli in panic disorder and social phobia.

    PubMed

    Cloitre, M; Heimberg, R G; Holt, C S; Liebowitz, M R

    1992-11-01

    Two studies assessed response time among clinically anxious subjects and normal controls when presented with threat, positive and neutral stimuli under perceptual (lexical decision) and semantic (category decision) task conditions. In Study 1, panic disorder subjects' (n = 14) performance was compared to that of matched normal controls (n = 14) while in Study 2 social phobic subjects (n = 24) were compared to matched normal controls (n = 24). Relative to matched normal controls, panic disorder subjects but not social phobics tended to show greater slowing in performance on the more cognitively complex (category) task. A second finding, consistent across both studies was that, compared to the normal control groups, both panic and social phobic groups showed significantly slowed responses to threat words in both the perceptual and semantic tasks. Such findings are directly counter to the predictions of a mood congruence hypothesis. This apparent contradiction is resolved by a review of the literature which indicates that mood-related facilitation effects are obtained only in tasks which tap awareness of threat information rather than speed of response. It is suggested that while anxiety may produce enhanced awareness of threat, it may inhibit responsiveness to it. The results of these studies are seen as consistent with ethological theories of inhibited motoric responses under certain threat conditions. Furthermore, the findings suggest that caution is indicated in interpreting slowed reaction time to threat stimuli in tasks such as the Stroop color naming task as purely the result of attentional processes. PMID:1417686

  4. 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

  5. Pharmacological stimulation of Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1α facilitates the corticosterone response to a mild acute stressor

    PubMed Central

    Harrell, Constance S.; Rowson, Sydney A.; Neigh, Gretchen N.

    2015-01-01

    While both glucocorticoids (the principal output of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) and oxidative stress have been implicated in outcomes due to an excessive or prolonged stress response, the precise mechanisms linking these two systems remain poorly elucidated. One potential mediator between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and oxidative stress is the Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1) pathway. HIF-1 is an oxygen-responsive transcription factor with diverse effects including changes in cellular metabolism. The experiments in this manuscript sought to determine if pharmacological stimulation of HIF-1α via administration of dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG) would facilitate the corticosterone response to a mild acute stressor. DMOG administration significantly increased plasma corticosterone five minutes after an acute airpuff without changing baseline plasma corticosterone or plasma corticosterone level two hours post-startle. DMOG administration also reduced hippocampal gene expression of the pro-translocation co-chaperone for the glucocorticoid receptor, FKBP4, two hours after airpuff startle. At this same two-hour time point, hippocampal expression of FKBP5, an anti-translocation co-chaperone of glucocorticoid receptor, in the DMOG-treated group was also positively correlated with plasma corticosterone levels. These data indicate that there is significant crosstalk between the hypothalamic-pituitary-axis and the HIF-1 pathway and extend the current knowledge of glucocorticoid and hypoxia interactions in an ethologically relevant stress model. PMID:26037418

  6. Perturbing A-to-I RNA editing using genetics and homologous recombination.

    PubMed

    Staber, Cynthia J; Gell, Selena; Jepson, James E C; Reenan, Robert A

    2011-01-01

    Evidence for the chemical conversion of adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) in messenger RNA (mRNA) has been detected in numerous metazoans, especially those "most successful" phyla: Arthropoda, Mollusca, and Chordata. The requisite enzymes for A-to-I editing, ADARs (adenosine deaminases acting on RNA) are highly conserved and are present in every higher metazoan genome sequenced to date. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, represents an ideal model organism for studying A-to-I editing, both in terms of fundamental biochemistry and in relation to determining adaptive downstream effects on physiology and behavior. The Drosophila genome contains a single structural gene for ADAR (dAdar), yet the fruit fly transcriptome has the widest range of conserved and validated ADAR targets in coding mRNAs of any known organism. In addition, many of the genes targeted by dADAR have been genetically identified as playing a role in nervous system function, providing a rich source of material to investigate the biological relevance of this intriguing process. Here, we discuss how recent advances in the use of ends-out homologous recombination (HR) in Drosophila make possible both the precise control of the editing status for defined adenosine residues and the engineering of flies with globally altered RNA editing of the fly transcriptome. These new approaches promise to significantly improve our understanding of how mRNA modification contributes to insect physiology and ethology.

  7. 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

  8. Animal models of anxiety disorders and stress.

    PubMed

    Campos, Alline C; Fogaça, Manoela V; Aguiar, Daniele C; Guimarães, Francisco S

    2013-01-01

    Anxiety and stress-related disorders are severe psychiatric conditions that affect performance in daily tasks and represent a high cost to public health. The initial observation of Charles Darwin that animals and human beings share similar characteristics in the expression of emotion raise the possibility of studying the mechanisms of psychiatric disorders in other mammals (mainly rodents). The development of animal models of anxiety and stress has helped to identify the pharmacological mechanisms and potential clinical effects of several drugs. Animal models of anxiety are based on conflict situations that can generate opposite motivational states induced by approach-avoidance situations. The present review revisited the main rodent models of anxiety and stress responses used worldwide. Here we defined as "ethological" the tests that assess unlearned/unpunished responses (such as the elevated plus maze, light-dark box, and open field), whereas models that involve learned/punished responses are referred to as "conditioned operant conflict tests" (such as the Vogel conflict test). We also discussed models that involve mainly classical conditioning tests (fear conditioning). Finally, we addressed the main protocols used to induce stress responses in rodents, including psychosocial (social defeat and neonatal isolation stress), physical (restraint stress), and chronic unpredictable stress.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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.

  14. 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

  15. In the Beginning Was the Familiar Voice Personally Familiar Voices in the Evolutionary and Contemporary Biology of Communication

    PubMed Central

    Sidtis, Diana; Kreiman, Jody

    2011-01-01

    The human voice is described in dialogic linguistics as an embodiment of self in a social context, contributing to expression, perception and mutual exchange of self, consciousness, inner life, and personhood. While these approaches are subjective and arise from phenomenological perspectives, scientific facts about personal vocal identity, and its role in biological development, support these views. It is our purpose to review studies of the biology of personal vocal identity -- the familiar voice pattern-- as providing an empirical foundation for the view that the human voice is an embodiment of self in the social context. Recent developments in the biology and evolution of communication are concordant with these notions, revealing that familiar voice recognition (also known as vocal identity recognition or individual vocal recognition) or contributed to survival in the earliest vocalizing species. Contemporary ethology documents the crucial role of familiar voices across animal species in signaling and perceiving internal states and personal identities. Neuropsychological studies of voice reveal multimodal cerebral associations arising across brain structures involved in memory, emotion, attention, and arousal in vocal perception and production, such that the voice represents the whole person. Although its roots are in evolutionary biology, human competence for processing layered social and personal meanings in the voice, as well as personal identity in a large repertory of familiar voice patterns, has achieved an immense sophistication. PMID:21710374

  16. Division of labour in honey bees: age- and task-related changes in the expression of octopamine receptor genes.

    PubMed

    Reim, T; Scheiner, R

    2014-12-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) has developed into an important ethological model organism for social behaviour and behavioural plasticity. Bees perform a complex age-dependent division of labour with the most pronounced behavioural differences occurring between in-hive bees and foragers. Whereas nurse bees, for example, stay inside the hive and provide the larvae with food, foragers leave the hive to collect pollen and nectar for the entire colony. The biogenic amine octopamine appears to play a major role in division of labour but the molecular mechanisms involved are unknown. We here investigated the role of two characterized octopamine receptors in honey bee division of labour. AmOctαR1 codes for a Ca(2+) -linked octopamine receptor. AmOctβR3/4 codes for a cyclic adenosine monophosphate-coupled octopamine receptor. Messenger RNA expression of AmOctαR1 in different brain neuropils correlates with social task, whereas expression of AmOctβR3/4 changes with age rather than with social role per se. Our results for the first time link the regulatory role of octopamine in division of labour to specific receptors and brain regions. They are an important step forward in our understanding of complex behavioural organization in social groups.

  17. 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

  18. Rats Synchronize Locomotion with Ultrasonic Vocalizations at the Subsecond Time Scale

    PubMed Central

    Laplagne, Diego A.; Elías Costa, Martín

    2016-01-01

    Acoustic signals have the potential for transmitting information fast across distances. Rats emit ultrasonic vocalizations of two distinct classes: “22-kHz” or “alarm” calls and “50-kHz” calls. The latter comprises brief sounds in the 30–80-kHz range, whose ethological role is not fully understood. We recorded ultrasonic vocalizations from pairs of rats freely behaving in neighboring but separated arenas. 50-kHz vocalizations in this condition were tightly linked to the locomotion of the emitter at the subsecond time scale, their rate sharply increasing and decreasing prior to the onset and offset of movement respectively. This locomotion-linked vocalization behavior showed a clear “audience effect,” as rats recorded alone displayed lower vocal production than rats in social settings for equivalent speeds of locomotion. Furthermore, calls from different categories across the 50 and 22-kHz families displayed markedly different correlations with locomotor activity. Our results show that rat vocalizations in the high ultrasonic range are social signals carrying spatial information about the emitter and highlight the possibility that they may play a role in the social coordination of spatial behaviors. PMID:27746726

  19. Game Theory of Mind

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Wako; Dolan, Ray J.; Friston, Karl J.

    2008-01-01

    This paper introduces a model of ‘theory of mind’, namely, how we represent the intentions and goals of others to optimise our mutual interactions. We draw on ideas from optimum control and game theory to provide a ‘game theory of mind’. First, we consider the representations of goals in terms of value functions that are prescribed by utility or rewards. Critically, the joint value functions and ensuing behaviour are optimised recursively, under the assumption that I represent your value function, your representation of mine, your representation of my representation of yours, and so on ad infinitum. However, if we assume that the degree of recursion is bounded, then players need to estimate the opponent's degree of recursion (i.e., sophistication) to respond optimally. This induces a problem of inferring the opponent's sophistication, given behavioural exchanges. We show it is possible to deduce whether players make inferences about each other and quantify their sophistication on the basis of choices in sequential games. This rests on comparing generative models of choices with, and without, inference. Model comparison is demonstrated using simulated and real data from a ‘stag-hunt’. Finally, we note that exactly the same sophisticated behaviour can be achieved by optimising the utility function itself (through prosocial utility), producing unsophisticated but apparently altruistic agents. This may be relevant ethologically in hierarchal game theory and coevolution. PMID:19112488

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Blocker, Tomica D; Ophir, Alexander G

    2013-06-01

    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.

  4. Unraveling pleiotropic functions of A-to-I RNA editing in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Jepson, James E; Reenan, Robert A

    2010-01-01

    In metazoan cells, transcripts that fold into double-strand RNA structures are endowed with the capacity to undergo A-to-I RNA editing, during which adenosines are catalytically deaminated to inosines by a class of enzymes known as ADARs (adenosine deaminases acting on RNA). In Drosophila, a wide range of coding mRNAs associated with signaling in the nervous system undergo A-to-I editing, and loss of editing results in extreme behavioral defects. Furthermore, there are indications that the precursors of endogenous small interfering RNAs also undergo editing. However, the mechanism by which A-to-I editing is related to ethology in Drosophila is unclear, as are the precise cell-types and developmental stages in which editing is most crucial. We have investigated these issues by altering small RNA production in flies lacking ADAR, and modulating editing levels in both time and space through a variety of transgenic techniques. Our results indicate that genetic re-coding in the nervous system is likely to be the primary pathway through which editing affects behavioral outputs, and further suggest that editing is required to 'fine-tune' neuro-transmission in the adult brain.

  5. A multi-disciplinary approach to understanding hippocampal function in food-hoarding birds.

    PubMed

    Smulders, Tom Victor

    2006-01-01

    Spatial memory and the hippocampal formation (HF) of food-hoarding birds have been put forward as a prime example of how natural selection has shaped a cognitive system and its neural underpinnings. Here, I review what we know about the HF of hoarding birds and lay out the work that is currently underway to use this system to obtain a better understanding of hippocampal function in general. This interdisciplinary programme includes evolutionary, ecological, psychological, ethological, and neuroscientific approaches to the study of behaviour and cognition. Firstly, we need to understand the behaviour of the birds in their natural environment, and identify the aspects of cognition and behaviour that may be especially valuable for the species under study. Secondly, these cognitive and behavioural traits are compared to closely-related non-hoarding species. Thirdly, we also compare HF anatomy between closely-related hoarding and non-hoarding species, identifying possible neural mechanisms underlying behavioural differences. Finally, behavioural and neuroscientific approaches are combined in experiments directly investigating the involvement of the HF or any of its anatomical and physiological aspects in the behaviours under study. This process loops back upon itself in many different ways, with all the different approaches informing each other. In this way we are making progress in understanding the functioning of the HF, not only in food-hoarding birds, but in all vertebrates.

  6. 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.

  7. [The importance of the phenomenom "imagination" in the scientific work of Werner Janzarik].

    PubMed

    Schmidt-Degenhard, M

    2004-10-01

    This paper in three parts and conclusion begins with the description of Janzarik's progression of thought, which originates in the narrowing of the gap between Jasper's descriptive phenomenology and anthropological phenomenology with its interpretive elements. Janzarik's structural-dynamic psychopathological approach has grown and differentiated from originally relatively narrow psychopathological questions to become an anthropology which aims to describe human assumptions concerning individual development/growth. The experience dimension is the focus, without suppressing interdisciplinary, objective findings, such as the inclusion of ethology. The mere clinical reconstruction of mental processes with all its heuristic risk was characterised by Janzarik as 'pure psychopathology'. In the section concerning structure and representation and their dependence on affect dynamic, we will emphasise the procedural nature of Janzarik's anthropology regarding developmental processes and its relationship to the philosopher Plessner's work in philosophy. The significance of the imagination in Janzarik's work contrasts to other philosophers who regard the imagination as ontological weakness, a deficiency, non-real, Janzarik, like Kant, sees the imagination as a constituent of reality. This will be exemplified in the characterisation of the mental field concerning the structural-dynamic model, the psychopathology of delusion as well as the oneiroid psychopathology. Finally the connection between autopraxis, Janzarik's core concept for the spontaneity of incidences and memory functions, and imagination will be described, which to a certain extent emphasises the working character of imagination for the flow of controlled mental activity. We will finish with the observation that Janzarik's work especially stresses experience and thus also the patient's individuality.

  8. Differential roles of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in predator odor contextual fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Wang, Melissa E; Fraize, Nicolas P; Yin, Linda; Yuan, Robin K; Petsagourakis, Despina; Wann, Ellen G; Muzzio, Isabel A

    2013-06-01

    The study of fear memory is important for understanding various anxiety disorders in which patients experience persistent recollections of traumatic events. These memories often involve associations of contextual cues with aversive events; consequently, Pavlovian classical conditioning is commonly used to study contextual fear learning. The use of predator odor as a fearful stimulus in contextual fear conditioning has become increasingly important as an animal model of anxiety disorders. Innate fear responses to predator odors are well characterized and reliable; however, attempts to use these odors as unconditioned stimuli in fear conditioning paradigms have proven inconsistent. Here we characterize a contextual fear conditioning paradigm using coyote urine as the unconditioned stimulus. We found that contextual conditioning induced by exposure to coyote urine produces long-term freezing, a stereotypic response to fear observed in mice. This paradigm is context-specific and parallels shock-induced contextual conditioning in that it is responsive to extinction training and manipulations of predator odor intensity. Region-specific lesions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus indicate that both areas are independently required for the long-term expression of learned fear. These results in conjunction with c-fos immunostaining data suggest that while both the dorsal and ventral hippocampus are required for forming a contextual representation, the ventral region also modulates defensive behaviors associated with predators. This study provides information about the individual contributions of the dorsal and ventral hippocampus to ethologically relevant fear learning.

  9. Emotional stress evoked by classical fear conditioning induces yawning behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Natsuko; Amemiya, Seiichiro; Yanagita, Shinya; Nishijima, Takeshi; Kita, Ichiro

    2014-04-30

    Yawning is often observed not only in a state of boredom or drowsiness but also in stressful emotional situations, suggesting that yawning is an emotional behavior. However, the neural mechanisms for yawning during stressful emotional situations have not been fully determined, though previous studies have suggested that both parvocellular oxytocin (OT) and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) are responsible for induction of yawning. Thus, using ethological observations and c-Fos immunohistochemistry, we examined whether emotional stress evoked by classical fear conditioning is involved in induction of yawning behavior in freely moving rats. Emotional stress induced yawning behavior that was accompanied by anxiety-related behavior, and caused neuronal activation of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), as well as increases in activity of both OT and CRF neurons in the PVN. These results suggest that emotional stress may induce yawning behavior, in which the neuronal activation of the CeA may have a key role.

  10. Effects of predictable and unpredictable food restriction on the stress response in molting and non-molting European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Bauer, Carolyn M; Glassman, Laura W; Cyr, Nicole E; Romero, L Michael

    2011-11-01

    This study tested whether an ethologically relevant stressor, a three-week period of food restriction where food was unavailable for four hours a day, caused chronic stress in molting and non-molting captive European starlings. Although all birds increased weight during the Food Restriction period, only non-molting birds increased food intake. Morning baseline heart rates increased during the Food Restriction period and all birds showed a decrease in heart rate when food was absent from the cage. In non-molting birds, there were no differences in either baseline or stress-induced corticosterone (CORT) concentrations, whereas molting birds showed attenuated baseline CORT, stress-induced CORT, and fecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels over the Food Restriction period. Although several parameters, such as increased morning heart rate, are consistent with chronic stress, the majority of these data suggest that restricting food availability is not chronically stressful. Furthermore, making the timing of food removal less predictable by randomizing when food was removed during the day did not enhance any of the above responses, but did alter the frequency of maintenance and feeding behaviors. In conclusion, starlings appear resistant to developing symptoms of chronic stress from repeated food restriction. PMID:21801846

  11. The reformulation of emotional security theory: the role of children's social defense in developmental psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Davies, Patrick T; Martin, Meredith J

    2013-11-01

    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. Thus, the objective of this paper is to describe how our reformulation of emotional security theory 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 the reformulation of emotional security theory 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.

  12. 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

  13. "My goose child Martina": the multiple uses of geese in the writings of Konrad Lorenz.

    PubMed

    Munz, Tania

    2011-01-01

    In 1935, the graylag goose Martina (1935-?) hatched from an egg in the home of the zoologist Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989). Martina imprinted on Lorenz, slept in his bedroom, mated with the gander Martin, and flew off in 1937. Over the following decades, Konrad Lorenz helped to establish the discipline of ethology, received a share of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and continued to write about his famous goose Martina. This essay examines the different instantiations of the geese in general, and Martina in particular, in Lorenz's writings aimed at readerships that included prewar zoologists, National Socialist psychologists, and popular audiences from the 1930s to 1980s. By developing an animal with her own biography, Lorenz created an individual whose lived and rhetorical agency made her especially well suited to perform widely divergent aspects of his evolving science. While a significant literature in the history of science has explored the standardization and stabilization of animals in science, I show how Lorenz's creation of a highly protean and increasingly public Martina was co-constitutive of the establishment of the science and public persona.

  14. Reproductive resource partitioning in two sympatric Goniothalamus species (Annonaceae) from Borneo: floral biology, pollinator trapping and plant breeding system

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Jenny Y. Y.; Pang, Chun-Chiu; Ramsden, Lawrence; Saunders, Richard M. K.

    2016-01-01

    The floral phenology, pollination ecology and breeding systems of two sympatric early-divergent angiosperms, Goniothalamus tapisoides and G. suaveolens (Annonaceae) are compared. The flowers are protogynous and morphologically similar, with anthesis over 23–25 h. Both species are predominantly xenogamous and pollinated by small beetles: G. tapisoides mainly by Curculionidae and G. suaveolens mainly by Nitidulidae. Coevolution and reproductive resource partitioning, reducing interspecific pollen transfer, is achieved by temporal isolation, due to contrasting floral phenologies; and ethological isolation, due to contrasting floral scents that contain attractants specific to the two beetle families. Analysis of floral scents revealed three volatiles (3-methylbutyl acetate, ethyl hexanoate and 2-phenylethanol) that are known to be nitidulid attractants in the floral scent of G. suaveolens, but absent from that of G. tapisoides. An effective pollinator trapping mechanism is demonstrated for both species, representing the first such report for the family. Trapping is achieved by the compression of the outer petals against the apertures between the inner petals. This trapping mechanism is likely to be a key evolutionary innovation for Goniothalamus, increasing pollination efficiency by increasing pollen loading on beetles during the staminate phase, promoting effective interfloral pollinator movements, and increasing seed-set by enabling rapid turn-over of flowers. PMID:27767040

  15. [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.

  16. The nonverbal basis of attraction: flirtation, courtship, and seduction.

    PubMed

    Givens, D B

    1978-11-01

    According to a familiar phrase, the "language" of love is universal. Recent ethological studies of nonlinguistic communication in courtship using facial expression, gesture, posture, distance, paralanguage, and gaze have begun to establish that a universal, culture-free, nonverbal sign system may exist (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1975), which is available to all persons for negotiating sexual relationships. The nonverbal mode, more powerful than the verbal for expressing such fundamental contingencies in social relationships as liking, disliking, superiority, timidity, fear and so on, appears to be rooted firmly in man's zoological heritage (Bateson, 1966, 1968). Paralleling a vertebrate-wide plan, human courtship expressivity often relies on nonverbal signs of submissiveness (meekness, harmlessness) and affiliation (willingness to form a social bond). Adoption of a submissive-affiliative social pose enables a person to convey an engaging, nonthreatening image that tends to attract potential mates. This report explores several conspicuous nonlinguistic cues that appear to be used widely in contexts of flirtation, courtship, and seduction. The expressive units are discussed from the standpoint of their occurence in five phases of courtship, and are illustrated by four cases.

  17. Multisensory integration of colors and scents: insights from bees and flowers.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Anne S; Masek, Pavel

    2014-06-01

    Karl von Frisch's studies of bees' color vision and chemical senses opened a window into the perceptual world of a species other than our own. A century of subsequent research on bees' visual and olfactory systems has developed along two productive but independent trajectories, leaving the questions of how and why bees use these two senses in concert largely unexplored. Given current interest in multimodal communication and recently discovered interplay between olfaction and vision in humans and Drosophila, understanding multisensory integration in bees is an opportunity to advance knowledge across fields. Using a classic ethological framework, we formulate proximate and ultimate perspectives on bees' use of multisensory stimuli. We discuss interactions between scent and color in the context of bee cognition and perception, focusing on mechanistic and functional approaches, and we highlight opportunities to further explore the development and evolution of multisensory integration. We argue that although the visual and olfactory worlds of bees are perhaps the best-studied of any non-human species, research focusing on the interactions between these two sensory modalities is vitally needed.

  18. 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.

  19. ANIMAL COMMUNICATION.

    PubMed

    SEBEOK, T A

    1965-02-26

    Semiotics and ethology have converged in a new behavioral science, zoosemiotics. Those who are interested in the theoretical analysis of the complex problems of non-verbal behavior that arise where these two disciplines interact aim to treat comprehensively animal communication systems by the aid of representations that have proved illuminating in the study of sentences of human language. Students of zoosemiotics are concerned with codes and messages much as linguists are concerned with competence, or language, and performance, or speech. They thus face the twin tasks of constructing a model for the addresser to specify how a message is encoded and transformed into a signal carried by a variety of channels to the addressee; and of constructing a model for the addressee to specify the ways in which animals utilize their knowledge of their code to recognize the messages they receive. Finally, they assess the context of the communicative event in the hope of dissecting that which is relevant to the selection process from the rest of the background, a program for which there is as yet neither a procedural eliciting technique nor a satisfactory theoretical solution in sight.

  20. 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

  1. Structure of the rat behaviour in the forced swimming test.

    PubMed

    Lino-de-Oliveira, Cilene; De Lima, Thereza C M; de Pádua Carobrez, Antonio

    2005-03-30

    Forced swimming test (FST) or 'behavioural despair' test is a useful screening for antidepressant drugs. The FST predictability has been improved by a number of procedural modifications. Description of the behavioural microstructure in FST may help to delineate innovative protocols. Thus, counts of all behaviours emitted during FST in rats (four-month-old Wistar male, n = 63) were recorded and examined by Markovian sequential analysis (MSA) and principal components analysis (PCA). In a second experiment, rats (n = 28) were tested in an open field test (OFT) followed a week later by FST; behaviours in both tests were recorded and analysed by two correlation methods (Pearson's test and sliding window correlation). The descriptive ethological analysis displayed counts of swimming and immobility increased over the course of the test, whereas climbing behaviour decreased. The MSA revealed the occurrence of immobility was predicted by swimming, climbing, and diving behaviours whereas the immobility predicted the occurrence of swimming behaviour and headshakes. The PCA showed duration of immobility and climbing loaded into one component and duration of immobility and swimming loaded into another one. Low as well high levels of climbing behaviour were positively correlated with motor activity in the OFT. In brief, the present data suggest there are at least two different factors that grouped variables related to the behavioural despair in the FST. In addition, altered motor activity could be predicted by the frequency of climbing behaviour recorded in the FST.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. Limbic system activation is affected by prenatal predator exposure and postnatal environmental enrichment and further moderated by dam and sex.

    PubMed

    Korgan, Austin C; Green, Amanda D; Perrot, Tara S; Esser, Michael J

    2014-02-01

    Epilepsy is a relatively common and chronic neurological condition, affecting 1-2% of the population. However, understanding of the underlying pathophysiology remains incomplete. To identify potential factors in the early environment that may increase the risk for experiencing seizures, maternal stress and environmental enrichment (EE) were utilized. Pregnant Long-Evans rats were exposed to an ethologically relevant predator stress (PS) and maternal glucocorticoid (GC) response was assessed across the exposure period. At birth, litters were divided into standard care (SC) and EE groups until postnatal day 14 (PD14) when a model of febrile convulsions was used to determine seizure susceptibility of the various groups. Pup brains were then processed for immunohistochemical detection of FosB from several structures in the limbic system as a measure of neuronal activation. Maternal PS-induced GC levels were elevated early in the exposure period, and pup birth weights, in both sexes, were lower in litters from dams exposed to PS. Seizure scores at PD14 were highly individualized and litter dependent, suggesting a dam-dependent and variable effect of controlled pre- and postnatal environmental factors. Further, analysis of FosB-immunoreactive (-ir) patterns revealed an activity dependent distribution, reflecting individual seizure susceptibility. EE had a varying effect on FosB-ir that was dependent on region. In the hippocampus FosB-ir levels were greater in the EE groups while extra-hippocampal regions showed lower levels of FosB-ir. Our results support the concept that pre- and postnatal environmental influences affect fetal programming and neurodevelopment of processes that could underlie seizure susceptibility, but that the magnitude of these effects appears to be dam- or litter-dependent.

  7. 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

  8. [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

  9. Buprenorphine for pain relief in mice: repeated injections vs sustained-release depot formulation.

    PubMed

    Jirkof, P; Tourvieille, A; Cinelli, P; Arras, M

    2015-07-01

    Sustained-release formulations of analgesic drugs are promising alternatives to repeated drug injections. Here, we compared a sustained-release formulation of buprenorphine (SB, 2.2 mg/kg) with a standard protocol of three injections of buprenorphine (Temgesic, 0.1 mg/kg/8 h) in mice. Buprenorphine serum concentration and analgesic action (thermal sensitivity) were determined in healthy mice. Additionally, the pain relief properties of both protocols were assessed after laparotomy using physiological and ethological measures of pain and recovery. Serum concentrations and thermal sensitivity tests indicated duration of action of at least 4 h (but less than 8 h) with the Temgesic protocol, and 24-48 h with SB. Behavioural and clinical parameters indicated at least partial pain relief after surgery for both protocols. Observed side-effects of buprenorphine independent of the protocol were increased activity, disturbed circadian rhythm and several abnormal behaviours. A tendency for decreased food and water intake as well as body weight reduction was also seen. Body weight decreased significantly in animals that received three injections of Temgesic, regardless of whether surgery was performed or not (P = 0.015; P = 0.023), hinting at a stress response towards this repeated intervention. In conclusion, an application interval of 8 h (Temgesic) appears too long and might lead to repeated periods with insufficient analgesia in animals undergoing lasting and/or substantial pain after surgery. In comparison to the standard protocol, SB provided a long-lasting, assured analgesia without possible stressful repeated injections in a standard surgical model, with only limited and acceptable behavioural side-effects.

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic modifications of brain and behavior: theory and practice.

    PubMed

    Crews, David

    2011-03-01

    Evolutionary change is a product of selection. Selection operates on the phenotype, and its consequences are manifest in representation of the genotype in successive generations. Of particular interest to both evolutionary and behavioral biologists is the newly emerging field of epigenetics and behavior. Two broad categories of epigenetic modifications must be distinguished. Context-dependent epigenetic change can be observed if the environmental factors that bring about the epigenetic modification persists (e.g., the frequency and quality of maternal care modifying the brain and future behavior of the offspring each generation). Because the environment induces epiallelic change, removing the causative factor can reverse a context-dependent epigenetic state. Germline-dependent epigenetic change occurs when the epigenetic imprint is mediated through the germline. Such effects are independent of the causative agent and there is no evidence at present that a germline-dependent epigenetic state can be reversed. Finally, only germline-dependent epigenetic modifications can be truly transgenerational. Although an individual's life history is progressive and continuous, it might usefully be viewed as the cumulation of divisions: each period emerging from what has gone before and, at the same time, setting the stage for what follows. These life history stages are somewhat arbitrary, with many traits spanning conventional divisions, but each period tends to have its own characteristic ethologies and particular contribution to neural and behavioral phenotypes. To understand how these episodes 'fit' together, it is necessary to deconstruct early life events and study each period both in its' own right and how it interacts with the preceding and subsequent stages. Lastly, it seems intuitive that germline- and context-dependent epigenetic modifications interact, resulting in the individual variation observed in behaviors, but until now this hypothesis has never been tested

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Sex-specific effects of prenatal stress on glucose homoeostasis and peripheral metabolism in rats.

    PubMed

    Brunton, Paula J; Sullivan, Katie M; Kerrigan, David; Russell, John A; Seckl, Jonathan R; Drake, Amanda J

    2013-05-01

    Glucocorticoid overexposure during pregnancy programmes offspring physiology and predisposes to later disease. However, any impact of ethologically relevant maternal stress is less clear, yet of physiological importance. Here, we investigated in rats the short- and long-term effects in adult offspring of repeated social stress (exposure to an aggressive lactating female) during late pregnancy on glucose regulation following stress, glucose-insulin homoeostasis and peripheral expression of genes important in regulating glucose and lipid metabolism and glucocorticoid action. Prenatal stress (PNS) was associated with reduced birth weight in female, but not male, offspring. The increase in blood glucose with restraint was exaggerated in adult PNS males compared with controls, but not in females. Oral glucose tolerance testing showed no effects on plasma glucose or insulin concentrations in either sex at 3 months; however, at 6 months, PNS females were hyperinsulinaemic following an oral glucose load. In PNS males, plasma triglyceride concentrations were increased, with reduced hepatic mRNA expression of 5α-reductase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (Pparα (Ppara)) and a strong trend towards reduced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α (Pgc1α (Ppargc1a)) and Pparγ (Pparg) expression, whereas only Pgc1α mRNA was affected in PNS females. Conversely, in subcutaneous fat, PNS reduced mRNA expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11βhsd1), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck (Pck1)), adipose triglyceride lipase (Atgl) and diglyceride acyltransferase 2 (Dgat2) in females, but only Pepck mRNA expression was reduced in PNS males. Thus, prenatal social stress differentially programmes glucose homoeostasis and peripheral metabolism in male and female offspring. These long-term alterations in physiology may increase susceptibility to metabolic disease.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Circadian rhythm of outside-nest activity in wild (WWCPS), albino and pigmented laboratory rats.

    PubMed

    Stryjek, Rafał; Modlińska, Klaudia; Turlejski, Krzysztof; Pisula, Wojciech

    2013-01-01

    The domestication process of the laboratory rat has been going on for several hundred generations in stable environmental conditions, which may have affected their physiological and behavioural functions, including their circadian system. Rats tested in our ethological experiments were laboratory-bred wild Norway rats (WWCPS), two strains of pigmented laboratory rats (Brown Norway and Long Evans), and two strains of albino rats (Sprague-Dawley and Wistar). Rats were placed in purpose-built enclosures and their cycle of activity (time spent actively outside the nest) has been studied for one week in standard light conditions and for the next one in round-the-clock darkness. The analysis of circadian pattern of outside-nest activity revealed differences between wild, pigmented laboratory, and albino laboratory strains. During daytime, albino rats showed lower activity than pigmented rats, greater decrease in activity when the light was turned on and greater increase in activity when the light was switched off, than pigmented rats. Moreover albino rats presented higher activity during the night than wild rats. The magnitude of the change in activity between daytime and nighttime was also more pronounced in albino rats. Additionaly, they slept outside the nest more often during the night than during the day. These results can be interpreted in accordance with the proposition that intense light is an aversive stimulus for albino rats, due to lack of pigment in their iris and choroid, which reduces their ability to adapt to light. Pigmented laboratory rats were more active during lights on, not only in comparison to the albino, but also to the wild rats. Since the difference seems to be independent of light intensity, it is likely to be a result of the domestication process. Cosinor analysis revealed a high rhythmicity of circadian cycles in all groups.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Functional mapping of the prosencephalic systems involved in organizing predatory behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Comoli, E; Ribeiro-Barbosa, E R; Negrão, N; Goto, M; Canteras, N S

    2005-01-01

    The study of the neural basis of predatory behavior has been largely neglected over the recent years. Using an ethologically based approach, we presently delineate the prosencephalic systems mobilized during predation by examining Fos immunoreactivity in rats performing insect hunting. These results were further compared with those obtained from animals killed after the early nocturnal surge of food ingestion. First, predatory behavior was associated with a distinct Fos up-regulation in the ventrolateral caudoputamen at intermediate rostro-caudal levels, suggesting a possible candidate to organize the stereotyped sequence of actions seen during insect hunting. Insect predation also presented conspicuous mobilization of a neural network formed by a distinct amygdalar circuit (i.e. the postpiriform-transition area, the anterior part of cortical nucleus, anterior part of basomedial nucleus, posterior part of basolateral nucleus, and medial part of central nucleus) and affiliated sites in the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis (i.e. the rhomboid nucleus) and in the hypothalamus (i.e. the parasubthalamic nucleus). Accordingly, this network is likely to encode prey-related motivational values, such as prey's odor and taste, and to influence autonomic and motor control accompanying predatory eating. Notably, regular food intake was also associated with a relatively weak Fos up-regulation in this network. However, during regular surge of food intake, we observed a much larger mobilization in hypothalamic sites related to the homeostatic control of eating, namely, the arcuate nucleus and autonomic parts of the paraventricular nucleus. Overall, the present findings suggest potential neural systems involved in integrating prey-related motivational values and in organizing the stereotyped sequences of action seen during predation. Moreover, the comparison with regular food intake contrasts putative neural mechanisms controlling predatory related eating vs. regular food intake.

  4. Development of a new method to track multiple honey bees with complex behaviors on a flat laboratory arena.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Responses of Swiss-Webster mice to repeated plus-maze experience: further evidence for a qualitative shift in emotional state?

    PubMed

    Holmes, A; Rodgers, R J

    1998-06-01

    Behavioral, endocrinological, and pharmacological data suggest that the emotional response of rodents to the elevated plus-maze alters as a function of prior test experience. In the present study, 74 intact male Swiss-Webster mice were exposed to the plus-maze for 5 min on each of 3 consecutive days, with all test sessions recorded on videotape. Behavior patterns for each trial were scored using ethological analysis software and the resultant database subjected to a number of statistical treatments. Analysis of full session profiles (i.e., 5 min total scores) showed that a single prior undrugged experience of the maze increases behavioral indices of anxiety and that these alterations are either maintained or further enhanced on subsequent trials. Furthermore, the behavioral profile evident by trial 3 was largely unchanged when animals were reexposed to the maze 10 days later. More detailed (i.e., min by min) examination of behavior patterns within and between trials demonstrated that unambiguous open arm avoidance is acquired by the third minute of trial 1, and that the behavioral profile evident by the end of trial 1 is (a) markedly different to that seen at the beginning of that trial, and (b) generally maintained or even accentuated on trials 2 and 3. The implied impact of prior test experience on future behavioral strategy in the maze was strongly supported by a series of factor analyses. Thus, while the factor associations of vertical activity and directed exploration remained constant across trials, trial 2 and 3 anxiety measures loaded on a separate factor to that loading trial 1 anxiety measures. A similar trial 1 vs. trials 2 and 3 dissociation was observed for measures of locomotor activity. Although the present findings are consistent with the proposal that prior test experience produces a qualitative shift in emotional response to the elevated plus-maze, the precise basis for this change as well as its full significance for our understanding of anxiety

  9. Effects of intra-hippocampal infusion of WAY-100635 on plus-maze behavior in mice. Influence of site of injection and prior test experience.

    PubMed

    Nunes-de-Souza, Ricardo Luiz; Canto-de-Souza, Azair; Rodgers, Robert John

    2002-02-01

    The positive profile of systemically-administered 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonists in several rodent models of anxiolytic activity suggests an important role for postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptor mechanisms in anxiety. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the effects of WAY-100635 microinfusions (0, 0.1, 1.0 or 3.0 microg in 0.2 microl) into the dorsal (DH) or ventral (VH) hippocampus on behaviours displayed by male Swiss-Webster mice in the elevated plus-maze. As prior experience is known to modify pharmacological responses in this test, the effects of intra-hippocampal infusions were examined both in maze-naïve and maze-experienced subjects. Test videotapes were scored for conventional indices of anxiety (% open arm entries/time) and locomotor activity (closed arm entries), as well as a range of ethological measures (e.g. risk assessment). In maze-naïve mice, intra-VH (but not intra-DH) infusions of WAY-100635 (3.0 microg but not lower doses) increased open arm exploration and reduced risk assessment. These effects were observed in the absence of significant changes in locomotor activity. In contrast, neither intra-VH nor intra-DH infusions of WAY-100635 altered the behaviour of maze-experienced mice. These findings suggest that postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors in the ventral (but not dorsal) hippocampus play a significant role both in the mediation of plus-maze anxiety in mice and in experientially-induced alterations in responses to this test.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. A field attempt to assess the mating competitiveness of sterile males produced by crossing 2 members of the Anopheles gambiae complex

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, G.; Odetoyinbo, J. A.; Colussa, B.; Coz, J.

    1970-01-01

    In laboratory experiments sterile males produced by crossing member species of the Anopheles gambiae complex competed very successfully with normal males for normal females and the latter when mated with sterile males laid sterile eggs. A field trial was arranged in a small isolated village near Bobo-Dioulasso, Upper Volta; the trial took place at the end of the rainy season against a declining population of species A. Sterile males were produced from the cross between species B males and An. melas females; this cross yielded an F1 generation mainly composed of sterile males with a sporadic occurrence of a sometimes significant proportion of females which were reproductively normal. The F1 generation was reared to pupae and these were released into existing breeding places and later from artificial containers. Some 300 000 pupae were so released over a period of 2 months and adult collections were made periodically from inside houses and from outside shelters after releases started. Of the males caught, 75% proved to be sterile while nearly 6% of normal-looking ovipositions failed to hatch. However 2.5% of them proved to be from hybrid females and not from species A females. In control villages, 1.35% of normal-looking ovipositions did not hatch. It was concluded from this field trial that the sterile males were not mating on any significant scale with the natural species A females. This could have been due to a number of factors but the most important is considered to be an ethological one—a mating barrier preventing mating between introduced sterile males and natural females. This is strongly expressed under natural conditions but not operative in the limited confines of a cage. The use of a cross between two species against a third species may well have enhanced this barrier. PMID:5309520

  13. 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

  14. Partial rescue of memory deficits induced by calorie restriction in a mouse model of tau deposition.

    PubMed

    Brownlow, Milene L; Joly-Amado, Aurelie; Azam, Sana; Elza, Mike; Selenica, Maj-Linda; Pappas, Colleen; Small, Brent; Engelman, Robert; Gordon, Marcia N; Morgan, Dave

    2014-09-01

    Calorie restriction (CR) was shown previously to improve cognition and decrease pathology in transgenic mouse models with Alzheimer-like amyloid deposition. In the present study, we investigated the effects of CR on the Tg4510 model of tau deposition. Mice in the calorie restriction group had food intake gradually decreased until they reached an average of 35% body weight reduction. Body weight and food intake were monitored throughout the study. After being on their respective diets for 3 months, all animals were submitted to behavioral testing. Tg4510 mice fed ad libitum showed lower body weight than nontransgenic littermates despite their increased food intake. Additionally, Tg4510 showed increased locomotor activity in the open field regardless of diet. Calorie restricted Tg4510 mice performed significantly better than ad libitum fed mice in the novel object recognition test, suggesting improved short-term memory. CR Tg4510 mice also performed significantly better in contextual fear conditioning than mice fed ad libitum. However, in a modified version of the novelty test that allows for interaction with other mice instead of inanimate objects, CR was not able to rescue the deficit found in Tg4510 mice in this ethologically more salient version of the task. No treatment differences in motor performance or spatial memory were observed in the rotarod or radial arm water maze tests, respectively. Histopathological and biochemical assessments showed no diet-induced changes in total or phospho-tau levels. Moreover, increased activation of both astrocytes and microglia in Tg4510 mice was not rescued by calorie restriction. Taken together, our data suggests that, despite an apparent rescue of associative memory, CR had no consistent effects on pathological outcomes of a mouse model of tau deposition.

  15. Cortical substrates for exploratory decisions in humans.

    PubMed

    Daw, Nathaniel D; O'Doherty, John P; Dayan, Peter; Seymour, Ben; Dolan, Raymond J

    2006-06-15

    Decision making in an uncertain environment poses a conflict between the opposing demands of gathering and exploiting information. In a classic illustration of this 'exploration-exploitation' dilemma, a gambler choosing between multiple slot machines balances the desire to select what seems, on the basis of accumulated experience, the richest option, against the desire to choose a less familiar option that might turn out more advantageous (and thereby provide information for improving future decisions). Far from representing idle curiosity, such exploration is often critical for organisms to discover how best to harvest resources such as food and water. In appetitive choice, substantial experimental evidence, underpinned by computational reinforcement learning (RL) theory, indicates that a dopaminergic, striatal and medial prefrontal network mediates learning to exploit. In contrast, although exploration has been well studied from both theoretical and ethological perspectives, its neural substrates are much less clear. Here we show, in a gambling task, that human subjects' choices can be characterized by a computationally well-regarded strategy for addressing the explore/exploit dilemma. Furthermore, using this characterization to classify decisions as exploratory or exploitative, we employ functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that the frontopolar cortex and intraparietal sulcus are preferentially active during exploratory decisions. In contrast, regions of striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex exhibit activity characteristic of an involvement in value-based exploitative decision making. The results suggest a model of action selection under uncertainty that involves switching between exploratory and exploitative behavioural modes, and provide a computationally precise characterization of the contribution of key decision-related brain systems to each of these functions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Expert opinion as 'validation' of risk assessment applied to calf welfare

    PubMed Central

    Bracke, Marc BM; Edwards, Sandra A; Engel, Bas; Buist, Willem G; Algers, Bo

    2008-01-01

    Background Recently, a Risk Assessment methodology was applied to animal welfare issues in a report of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on intensively housed calves. Methods Because this is a new and potentially influential approach to derive conclusions on animal welfare issues, a so-called semantic-modelling type 'validation' study was conducted by asking expert scientists, who had been involved or quoted in the report, to give welfare scores for housing systems and for welfare hazards. Results Kendall's coefficient of concordance among experts (n = 24) was highly significant (P < 0.001), but low (0.29 and 0.18 for housing systems and hazards respectively). Overall correlations with EFSA scores were significant only for experts with a veterinary or mixed (veterinary and applied ethological) background. Significant differences in welfare scores were found between housing systems, between hazards, and between experts with different backgrounds. For example, veterinarians gave higher overall welfare scores for housing systems than ethologists did, probably reflecting a difference in their perception of animal welfare. Systems with the lowest scores were veal calves kept individually in so-called "baby boxes" (veal crates) or in small groups, and feedlots. A suckler herd on pasture was rated as the best for calf welfare. The main hazards were related to underfeeding, inadequate colostrum intake, poor stockperson education, insufficient space, inadequate roughage, iron deficiency, inadequate ventilation, poor floor conditions and no bedding. Points for improvement of the Risk Assessment applied to animal welfare include linking information, reporting uncertainty and transparency about underlying values. Conclusion The study provides novel information on expert opinion in relation to calf welfare and shows that Risk Assessment applied to animal welfare can benefit from a semantic modelling approach. PMID:18625048

  19. 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

  20. Sex differences in opioid and N-methyl-D-aspartate mediated non-opioid biting fly exposure induced analgesia in deer mice.

    PubMed

    Kavaliers, M; Colwell, D D; Choleris, E

    1998-08-01

    There is evidence for sex differences in responses to noxious stimuli and in the expression and mediation of analgesia. In particular, results of investigations with swim stress and the more ethologically appropriate stress of predator odor exposure have suggested sex differences in N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor system involvement in the mediation of analgesia. Whether or not this sex difference generalizes to other environmental stressors is, however, not clear. Biting flies are a natural aversive stimuli commonly encountered by wild and domestic animals and humans. The present study examined the opioid and non-opioid mediated nociceptive (50 degrees C hot plate) responses of reproductive male and female deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, exposed to biting fly attack. A 30 min exposure to biting flies (stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.)) elicited a naloxone sensitive, opioid-mediated analgesia that was of a greater magnitude in males than in female deer mice. In contrast, a 5 min exposure to biting flies elicited a 'on-opioid' analgesia that was of similar magnitude in both sexes and insensitive to both naloxone and the specific kappa opiate antagonist, nor-binaltorphimine. In male mice this non-opioid analgesia was antagonised by the competitive NMDA antagonist, NPC 1262, while in reproductive females the biting fly-induced analgesia was insensitive to NPC 12626. These results show that there are sex differences in NMDA involvement in the mediation of the non-opioid analgesia arising from brief exposure to the stress of biting fly attack. These data from a common, natural environmental challenge support the presence of basic sex difference in NMDA involvement in the mediation of stress-induced analgesia. PMID:9766834

  1. 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

  2. Artificial Evolution by Viability Rather than Competition

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Sex differences in opioid and N-methyl-D-aspartate mediated non-opioid biting fly exposure induced analgesia in deer mice.

    PubMed

    Kavaliers, M; Colwell, D D; Choleris, E

    1998-08-01

    There is evidence for sex differences in responses to noxious stimuli and in the expression and mediation of analgesia. In particular, results of investigations with swim stress and the more ethologically appropriate stress of predator odor exposure have suggested sex differences in N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor system involvement in the mediation of analgesia. Whether or not this sex difference generalizes to other environmental stressors is, however, not clear. Biting flies are a natural aversive stimuli commonly encountered by wild and domestic animals and humans. The present study examined the opioid and non-opioid mediated nociceptive (50 degrees C hot plate) responses of reproductive male and female deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, exposed to biting fly attack. A 30 min exposure to biting flies (stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.)) elicited a naloxone sensitive, opioid-mediated analgesia that was of a greater magnitude in males than in female deer mice. In contrast, a 5 min exposure to biting flies elicited a 'on-opioid' analgesia that was of similar magnitude in both sexes and insensitive to both naloxone and the specific kappa opiate antagonist, nor-binaltorphimine. In male mice this non-opioid analgesia was antagonised by the competitive NMDA antagonist, NPC 1262, while in reproductive females the biting fly-induced analgesia was insensitive to NPC 12626. These results show that there are sex differences in NMDA involvement in the mediation of the non-opioid analgesia arising from brief exposure to the stress of biting fly attack. These data from a common, natural environmental challenge support the presence of basic sex difference in NMDA involvement in the mediation of stress-induced analgesia.

  11. [Separation anxiety. Theoretical considerations].

    PubMed

    Blandin, N; Parquet, P J; Bailly, D

    1994-01-01

    The interest in separation anxiety is nowadays increasing: this disorder appearing during childhood may predispose to the occurrence of anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder and agoraphobia) and major depression into adulthood. Psychoanalytic theories differ on the nature of separation anxiety and its place in child development. For some authors, separation anxiety must be understood as resulting from the unconscious internal conflicts inherent in the individuation process and gradual attainment of autonomy. From this point of view, the fear of loss of mother by separation is not regarded as resulting from a real danger. However, Freud considers the primary experience of separation from protecting mother as the prototype situation of anxiety and compares the situations generating fear to separation experiences. For him, anxiety originates from two factors: the physiological fact is initiated at the time of birth but the primary traumatic situation is the separation from mother. This point of view may be compared with behavioral theories. Behavioral theories suggest that separation anxiety may be conditioned or learned from innate fears. In Freud's theory, the primary situation of anxiety resulting from the separation from mother plays a role comparable to innate fears. Grappling with the problem of separation anxiety, Bowlby emphasizes then the importance of the child's attachment to one person (mother or primary caregiver) and the fact that this attachment is instinctive. This point of view, based on the watch of infants, is akin to ethological theories on behaviour of non human primates. Bowlby especially shows that the reactions of infant separated from mother evolve on three stages: the phase of protestation which may constitute the prototype of adulthood anxiety, the phase of desperation which may be the prototype of depression, and the phase of detachment. He emphasizes so the role of early separations in the development of vulnerability to depression

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Pearson, Brandon L; Defensor, Erwin B; Blanchard, D Caroline; Blanchard, Robert J

    2015-07-01

    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 regulates 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 of neurodevelopmental and other psychiatric conditions. PMID:26066729

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. [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

  19. 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

  20. Effects of hybridization and selection on floral isolation.

    PubMed Central

    Grant, V

    1993-01-01

    This paper examines the case of natural hybridization between two angiosperm species (A and B) which are mechanically and ethologically isolated (or florally isolated). What is the effect of hybridization on the pollination system, and conversely, what is the effect of the pollinators on the outcome of the hybridization? The original floral isolation is based on an interspecific differentiation in floral characters, the floral mechanisms of the parental species being specialized for pollination by different types of pollinators with different body forms and behavioral traits. F1 hybrids of A x B have intermediate floral characters and serve as bridges for interspecific cross-pollination. The problem next shifts to the changes in floral characters and mode of pollination that are likely to occur in later generations in the hybrid population. The pollinators of species A and species B exert selective pressures on the hybrid population. If the normal pollinator of A is more abundant, active, and effective in the hybrid population than the pollinator of B, selection is expected to favor a reversion toward the floral characters and pollination system of A. The opposite condition, in which the pollinator of B is predominant, leads to the reciprocal result, reversion toward B. If the two types of pollinators are more or less the same in number of flower visits and pollination effectiveness, their combined selective pressure should produce later-generation derivatives with intermediate floral characters suited for both pollinators. Three western North American plant groups containing florally isolated species that hybridize (Ipomopsis, Diplacus, and Aquilegia) are examined in relation to these predictions. The evidence in the three groups is generally in agreement with the hypothesis. PMID:11607361

  1. The Effect of Escapable Versus Inescapable Social Defeat on Conditioned Defeat and Social Recognition in Syrian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    McCann, Katharine E.; Huhman, Kim L.

    2011-01-01

    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

  2. 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.

  3. The causes of variation in learning and behavior: why individual differences matter.

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Human Superior Temporal Gyrus Organization of Spectrotemporal Modulation Tuning Derived from Speech Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Hullett, Patrick W.; Hamilton, Liberty S.; Mesgarani, Nima; Schreiner, Christoph E.

    2016-01-01

    The human superior temporal gyrus (STG) is critical for speech perception, yet the organization of spectrotemporal processing of speech within the STG is not well understood. Here, to characterize the spatial organization of spectrotemporal processing of speech across human STG, we use high-density cortical surface field potential recordings while participants listened to natural continuous speech. While synthetic broad-band stimuli did not yield sustained activation of the STG, spectrotemporal receptive fields could be reconstructed from vigorous responses to speech stimuli. We find that the human STG displays a robust anterior–posterior spatial distribution of spectrotemporal tuning in which the posterior STG is tuned for temporally fast varying speech sounds that have relatively constant energy across the frequency axis (low spectral modulation) while the anterior STG is tuned for temporally slow varying speech sounds that have a high degree of spectral variation across the frequency axis (high spectral modulation). This work illustrates organization of spectrotemporal processing in the human STG, and illuminates processing of ethologically relevant speech signals in a region of the brain specialized for speech perception. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Considerable evidence has implicated the human superior temporal gyrus (STG) in speech processing. However, the gross organization of spectrotemporal processing of speech within the STG is not well characterized. Here we use natural speech stimuli and advanced receptive field characterization methods to show that spectrotemporal features within speech are well organized along the posterior-to-anterior axis of the human STG. These findings demonstrate robust functional organization based on spectrotemporal modulation content, and illustrate that much of the encoded information in the STG represents the physical acoustic properties of speech stimuli. PMID:26865624

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. EEG-based investigation of brain connectivity changes in psychotic patients undergoing the primitive expression form of dance therapy: a methodological pilot study.

    PubMed

    Ventouras, Errikos-Chaim; Margariti, Alexia; Chondraki, Paraskevi; Kalatzis, Ioannis; Economou, Nicholas-Tiberio; Tsekou, Hara; Paparrigopoulos, Thomas; Ktonas, Periklis

    2015-04-01

    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. There exist very few studies of DT applications including in their protocol the measurement of neurophysiological parameters. The present pilot study investigates the use of the correlation coefficient (ρ) and mutual information (MI), and of novel measures extracted from ρ and MI, on electroencephalographic (EEG) data recorded in patients with schizophrenia while they undergo PE DT, in order to expand the set of neurophysiology-based approaches for quantifying possible DT effects, using parameters that might provide insights about any potential brain connectivity changes in these patients during the PE DT process. Indication is provided for an acute potentiation effect, apparent at late-stage PE DT, on the inter-hemispheric connectivity in frontal areas, as well as for attenuation of the inter-hemispheric connectivity of left frontal and right central areas and for potentiation of the intra-hemispheric connectivity of frontal and central areas, bilaterally, in the transition from early to late-stage PE DT. This pilot study indicates that by using EEG connectivity measures based on ρ and MI, the set of useful neurophysiology-based approaches for quantifying possible DT effects is expanded. In the framework of the present study, the causes of the observed connectivity changes cannot be attributed with certainty to PE DT, but indications are provided that these measures may contribute to a detailed assessment of neurophysiological mechanisms possibly being affected by this therapeutic process. PMID:25852781

  15. [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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. [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

  1. [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

  2. 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

  3. EEG-based investigation of brain connectivity changes in psychotic patients undergoing the primitive expression form of dance therapy: a methodological pilot study.

    PubMed

    Ventouras, Errikos-Chaim; Margariti, Alexia; Chondraki, Paraskevi; Kalatzis, Ioannis; Economou, Nicholas-Tiberio; Tsekou, Hara; Paparrigopoulos, Thomas; Ktonas, Periklis

    2015-04-01

    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. There exist very few studies of DT applications including in their protocol the measurement of neurophysiological parameters. The present pilot study investigates the use of the correlation coefficient (ρ) and mutual information (MI), and of novel measures extracted from ρ and MI, on electroencephalographic (EEG) data recorded in patients with schizophrenia while they undergo PE DT, in order to expand the set of neurophysiology-based approaches for quantifying possible DT effects, using parameters that might provide insights about any potential brain connectivity changes in these patients during the PE DT process. Indication is provided for an acute potentiation effect, apparent at late-stage PE DT, on the inter-hemispheric connectivity in frontal areas, as well as for attenuation of the inter-hemispheric connectivity of left frontal and right central areas and for potentiation of the intra-hemispheric connectivity of frontal and central areas, bilaterally, in the transition from early to late-stage PE DT. This pilot study indicates that by using EEG connectivity measures based on ρ and MI, the set of useful neurophysiology-based approaches for quantifying possible DT effects is expanded. In the framework of the present study, the causes of the observed connectivity changes cannot be attributed with certainty to PE DT, but indications are provided that these measures may contribute to a detailed assessment of neurophysiological mechanisms possibly being affected by this therapeutic process.

  4. 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

  5. Effects of early life social stress on endocrinology, maternal behavior, and lactation in rats.

    PubMed

    Carini, Lindsay M; Nephew, Benjamin C

    2013-09-01

    Exposure to early life stress is a predictor of mental health disorders, and two common forms of early life stress are social conflict and impaired maternal care, which are predominant features of postpartum mood disorders. Exposure of lactating female rats to a novel male intruder involves robust social conflict and induces deficits in maternal care towards the F1 offspring. This exposure is an early life social stressor for female F1 pups that induces inefficient lactation associated with central changes in oxytocin (OXT), prolactin (PRL), and arginine vasopressin (AVP) gene expression in adult F1 females. The mothers of the rats in the current study were either allowed to raise their pups without exposure to a social stressor (control), or presented with a novel male intruder for 1h each day on lactation days 2-16 (chronic social stress). The effects of this early life chronic social stress (CSS) exposure on subsequent peripheral endocrinology, maternal behavior, and physiology were assessed. Exposure of female pups to early life CSS resulted in persistent alterations in maternal endocrinology at the end of lactation (attenuated prolactin and elevated corticosterone), depressed maternal care and aggression, increased restlessness and anxiety-related behavior, impaired lactation, and decreased saccharin preference. The endocrine and behavioral data indicate that early life CSS has long-term effects which are similar to changes seen in clinical populations of depressed mothers and provide support for the use of the chronic social stress paradigm as an ethologically relevant rodent model for maternal disorders such as postpartum depression and anxiety.

  6. Sex-dimorphic effects of gestational exposure to the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos on social investigation in mice.

    PubMed

    De Felice, Alessia; Venerosi, Aldina; Ricceri, Laura; Sabbioni, Mara; Scattoni, Maria Luisa; Chiarotti, Flavia; Calamandrei, Gemma

    2014-01-01

    Several pieces of evidence from animal and human studies indicate that the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos (CPF) acts as a developmental neurotoxicant at environmentally relevant doses, and it is possibly endowed with endocrine-disrupting activity. Data collected in rodent models show that developmental exposure to CPF at sub-toxic doses induces long-lasting and sex-dimorphic changes in social and investigative responses in exposed offspring. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of gestational CPF treatment on social and olfactory discrimination in adult mice of both sexes. Pregnant CD1 out-bred mice were exposed to CPF per os on gestational days (GD) 14-17 at the sub-toxic dose of 6 mg/kg/bw. At adulthood, male and female offspring underwent the same experimental paradigms, namely i) a social discrimination test where mice were presented with a simultaneous binary choice between a novel conspecific and a familiar one, and ii) an olfactory habituation/dishabituation test to evaluate their capability to discriminate between odors with different eco-ethological salience (non-social vs. social odors). Results showed that in the social discrimination test prenatal CPF primarily affected the female sex by raising the investigation time in females to the same levels as found in vehicle- and CPF-exposed males. The ability to discriminate between a familiar and a novel social mate was not affected by CPF in either sex. In the olfactory habituation/dishabituation test, mice of both sexes successfully discriminated non-social from social odors regardless of the prenatal treatment received. These results confirm previous evidence indicating that developmental exposure to CPF causes long-lasting and sex-dimorphic changes in responsiveness to social cues, in the absence of significant impairment of social and olfactory discrimination capacity. These findings are discussed within the framework of recent data pointing to the limbic/hypothalamic circuitry and

  7. 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

  8. Sex-specific prenatal stress effects on the rat reproductive axis and adrenal gland structure

    PubMed Central

    George, Susan O; Hogg, Charis O; Lai, Yu-Ting; Brunton, Paula J

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 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

  9. 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

  10. Signaling aggression.

    PubMed

    van Staaden, Moira J; Searcy, William A; Hanlon, Roger T

    2011-01-01

    From psychological and sociological standpoints, aggression is regarded as intentional behavior aimed at inflicting pain and manifested by hostility and attacking behaviors. In contrast, biologists define aggression as behavior associated with attack or escalation toward attack, omitting any stipulation about intentions and goals. Certain animal signals are strongly associated with escalation toward attack and have the same function as physical attack in intimidating opponents and winning contests, and ethologists therefore consider them an integral part of aggressive behavior. Aggressive signals have been molded by evolution to make them ever more effective in mediating interactions between the contestants. Early theoretical analyses of aggressive signaling suggested that signals could never be honest about fighting ability or aggressive intentions because weak individuals would exaggerate such signals whenever they were effective in influencing the behavior of opponents. More recent game theory models, however, demonstrate that given the right costs and constraints, aggressive signals are both reliable about strength and intentions and effective in influencing contest outcomes. Here, we review the role of signaling in lieu of physical violence, considering threat displays from an ethological perspective as an adaptive outcome of evolutionary selection pressures. Fighting prowess is conveyed by performance signals whose production is constrained by physical ability and thus limited to just some individuals, whereas aggressive intent is encoded in strategic signals that all signalers are able to produce. We illustrate recent advances in the study of aggressive signaling with case studies of charismatic taxa that employ a range of sensory modalities, viz. visual and chemical signaling in cephalopod behavior, and indicators of aggressive intent in the territorial calls of songbirds.

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. Psychological stress in adolescent and adult mice increases neuroinflammation and attenuates the response to LPS challenge

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    demonstrate that predatory stress, an ethologically relevant stressor, can elicit changes in neuroinflammation and behavior. The predatory stress model may be useful in elucidating mechanisms by which psychological stress modulates diseases with an inflammatory component. PMID:22248083

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Pearson, Brandon L; Defensor, Erwin B; Blanchard, D Caroline; Blanchard, Robert J

    2015-07-01

    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 regulates 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 of neurodevelopmental and other psychiatric conditions.

  16. Orexin-1 receptor antagonism fails to reduce anxiety-like behaviour in either plus-maze-naïve or plus-maze-experienced mice.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, R J; Wright, F L; Snow, N F; Taylor, L J

    2013-04-15

    Although several lines of evidence have recently implicated orexins and their receptors in fear and anxiety, there is also a growing number of apparently inconsistent and/or negative findings. In the present study, we have used ethological methods to comprehensively profile the behavioural effects of the orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB-334867 (3-30 mg/kg) in mice exposed to the elevated plus-maze. Two experiments were performed, the first involving test-naïve animals and the second using prior undrugged experience of the maze to induce a qualitatively different emotional response to that seen on first exposure. In Experiment 1, a reference benzodiazepine (chlordiazepoxide, CDP, 15 mg/kg) produced a robust anxioselective profile comprising substantial increases in open arm exploration and reduced risk assessment without any signiifcant change in general activity levels. In contrast, SB-334867 failed to produce any behavioural effects over the dose range tested. In Experiment 2, 5 min undrugged experience of the maze 24h prior to testing increased open arm avoidance and abolished the anxiolytic efficacy of CDP. Despite this altered baseline, SB-334867 again failed to alter plus-maze behaviour. These findings agree with several recent reports that orexin receptor antagonists, such as SB-334867 and almorexant, do not alter basal anxiety levels in rats but markedly contrast with the anxiolytic-like effects of the same agents when anxiety levels have been exacerbated by fear conditioning, drug challenge or hypercapnia. This unique pattern of activity suggests that orexin receptor antagonists may have therapeutic value in those clinical anxiety disorders characterised by intense emotional arousal.

  17. Animal models of self-destructive behavior and suicide.

    PubMed

    Crawley, J N; Sutton, M E; Pickar, D

    1985-06-01

    In this article we have addressed selected aspects of animal models that may have ramifications in our understanding of suicide and human self-destructive behavior. It should be kept in mind that these human behaviors have many determinants. In considering animal models, we do not propose that similar behaviors necessarily have the same causation nor that a particular experimental manipulation that produces a behavioral syndrome in one species will produce that response in another species. Even if environmental conditions or the resulting behaviors vary for different species, the biochemical intermediaries may be similar. The simplification inherent in the laboratory modeling of an aspect of human behavior should not mean that the complexity of the human syndrome be forgotten. However, if a simple explanation can account for the production of a particular behavioral syndrome in animals, it can help to structure our thoughts regarding the etiology of the behavior in humans. The ethologic observations discussed in this article may help to place human self-destructive behavior in a continuum with that of animals in the wild. Although care should be given to drawing direct parallels, the clear conclusion is that humans are not alone in exhibiting self-initiated behaviors that ultimately produce self-harm or death. Whereas laboratory models have been extensively used for modeling psychiatric illnesses or for producing specific pharmacologic manipulations of the CNS, surprisingly little attention has been given to the modeling of self-destructive behaviors themselves. Emphasis on self-destructive behaviors, as well as on their biologic and genetic underpinnings, represent an important future direction for work on animal models in psychiatry.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The use of chance-corrected agreement to diagnose canine compulsive disorder: an approach to behavioral diagnosis in the absence of a 'gold standard'.

    PubMed Central

    Hewson, C J; Luescher, U A; Ball, R O

    1999-01-01

    This study assessed the diagnostic accuracy of formal diagnostic criteria for canine compulsive disorder (canine CD). Canine CD is a syndrome of abnormal behaviors that are believed to result from conflict or frustration. Differential diagnoses include normal conflict behavior and learned behavior. In studies of canine CD, confidence in the diagnosis comes with knowing the accuracy of the diagnostic method. This accuracy may be quantified as the chance-corrected agreement between the diagnostic method and a 'gold standard' diagnostic test. The present study examined the agreement between diagnoses of canine CD made by an expert (the 'gold standard') and by using formal diagnostic criteria. The owners of 84 dogs suspected of having CD received 2 telephone interviews. The first utilized a detailed, pre-tested questionnaire; a dog was then diagnosed with CD if the behavioral history met 7 diagnostic criteria. The second interview was given by a behavioral expert whose diagnosis was based on personal experience. The interviewers were blind to each other's diagnoses. The chance-corrected agreement between diagnoses was minimal (kappa = 0.02) and disagreement was associated with 3 of the formal criteria: a history of conflict or frustration, an increase in the number of contexts that elicit the behavior, and an increase in the daily frequency of the behavior. Reasons for the disagreement include the order of the interviews, response biases, the setting of the interviews, and, possibly, the diversity of the behaviors associated with canine CD. To the authors' knowledge, this type of study is the first in clinical ethology to address validation of the diagnostic method. The results indicate 3 developmental aspects of canine CD that should be examined in future work. PMID:10480462