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Effects of central vasotocin and mesotocin manipulations on social behavior in male and female zebra finches


, : Effects of central vasotocin and mesotocin manipulations on social behavior in male and female zebra finches. Hormones and Behavior 45(2): 136-143

Male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata; total n = 40) were fitted with chronic guide cannulae directed at the lateral ventricle and were tested for aggression, affiliation, and partner preference following infusions of mesotocin (MT), vasotocin (VT), their antagonists, and vehicle control. Aggressive behavior was tested in a mate competition paradigm and tests of intersexual affiliation and partner preference were conducted following 1 day of cohabitation with an opposite-sex individual. These tests also provided data on male courtship singing. The results demonstrate a modest dose-dependent facilitation of aggression by VT, but not MT, in both male and female finches. However, only males were sensitive to infusions of a vasopressin antagonist, suggesting that endogenous VT is more important for behavioral modulation in males. Peptide effects were specific to aggression, as no treatments influenced intersexual affiliation, partner preference, or male courtship singing. Thus, in contrast to rodents, partner preference is not readily induced by VT or MT in this species. However, the potential necessity of endogenous VT and MT for natural pair-bond formation remains to be tested.

US$19.90

PMID: 15019801

DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2003.08.006


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