08-affiliation%20%26%20aggression - Affiliative and...

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Affiliative and aggressive behaviors. 1. Pair bonding 2. Social recognition 3. Aggression(s)
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Pair bonding between male and female Relatively uncommon among mammals ~3% of all mammalian species ~15% of primates (including humans) Studied most intensively in voles (field mice) Several closely related species Different social patterns
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Meadow vole ( Microtus pennsylvanicus ) Prairie vole ( Microtus ochrogaster) Pine vole ( Microtus pinetorum ) The cast of characters: Montane vole ( Microtus montanus ) Live in boggy grasslands in northeast US Live in grasslands – widely distributed, including prairie Live in deciduous forests, not pine forests, in eastern US Live in boggy grasslands in mountain West
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1. Male and female pair up until death do them part 2. Share living space and hang out together If partner dies, only ~20% go on to form new pair bonds Some species of voles form pair bonds. 3. Share pup care tasks (although the male may not be the father)
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Prairie vole Pine vole Meadow vole Montane vole 1. Form pair bonds 1. No pair bonds 2. Puberty delayed as long as they live at home 2. No social inhibition of puberty Females ovulate, mate and pair bond within 24 hr of exposure to urine from strange male Like to ‘cuddle’ No cuddling – even in small cages Males pair bond with females and become aggressive toward strangers within 24 hr of mating
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Pair bond formation – partner preference test: Seen in both sexes Prairie voles prefer to be with partner. Meadow voles prefer to be by themselves
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Pair-bonded males are also aggressive toward intruders – the resident intruder test: (behavior of toward new )
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3. Mom and dad both parental prairie & pine parental (also pair bond) 3. Only mom parental meadow & montane maternal 4. Young very distressed by separation 4. Young not distressed by separation Mom may split after 8-14 days Ultrasonic vocalizations Elevated cortisol Prairie vole Pine vole Meadow vole Montane vole
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Hormonal control of pair bonding in voles
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The major players: arginine (AVP) differ in just 2 amino acids (OT)
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Oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) are the two peptides which induce pair bonding in prairie voles In this case, OT and AVP are acting as neurotransmitters rather than posterior pituitary hormones. Both OT and AVP projections and receptors are widely distributed in the brain. Vasopressin in gerbil brain
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OT controls pair bonding in female prairie voles, while AVP plays this role in males female male -- ICV OT antagonist just prior to mating -- ICV AVP in unmated animal -- ICV AVP antagonist just prior to mating -- Neither OT nor AVP affects mating behavior in males or females. ICV* OT in unmated animal *Intracerebroventricular : induces behavior : inhibits behavior
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Could differences in vasopressin and oxytocin in the brain that account for species differences in vole social behavior?
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AVP and OT distribution in vole brains: Oxytocin distribution and projections do not differ between monogamous and polygamous species, nor between males and females.
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