|Home||<< 1 >>|
Broad, K. D., Curley, J. P., & Keverne, E. B. (2006). Mother-infant bonding and the evolution of mammalian social relationships. Phil. Trans. Biol. Sci., 361(1476), 2199–2214.
Abstract: A wide variety of maternal, social and sexual bonding strategies have been described across mammalian species, including humans. Many of the neural and hormonal mechanisms that underpin the formation and maintenance of these bonds demonstrate a considerable degree of evolutionary conservation across a representative range of these species. However, there is also a considerable degree of diversity in both the way these mechanisms are activated and in the behavioural responses that result. In the majority of small-brained mammals (including rodents), the formation of a maternal or partner preference bond requires individual recognition by olfactory cues, activation of neural mechanisms concerned with social reward by these cues and gender-specific hormonal priming for behavioural output. With the evolutionary increase of neocortex seen in monkeys and apes, there has been a corresponding increase in the complexity of social relationships and bonding strategies together with a significant redundancy in hormonal priming for motivated behaviour. Olfactory recognition and olfactory inputs to areas of the brain concerned with social reward are downregulated and recognition is based on integration of multimodal sensory cues requiring an expanded neocortex, particularly the association cortex. This emancipation from olfactory and hormonal determinants of bonding has been succeeded by the increased importance of social learning that is necessitated by living in a complex social world and, especially in humans, a world that is dominated by cultural inheritance. © 2006 The Royal Society.
Calcagnoli, F., Boer, S. F., Althaus, M., Boer, J. A., & Koolhaas, J. M. (2013). Antiaggressive activity of central oxytocin in male rats. Psychopharmacology, 229(4), 639–651.
Abstract: Rationale A substantial body of research suggests that the
neuropeptide oxytocin promotes social affiliative behaviors
in a wide range of animals including humans. However, its
antiaggressive action has not been unequivocally demonstrated
in male laboratory rodents.
Objective Our primary goal was to examine the putative
serenic effect of oxytocin in a feral strain (wild type
Groningen, WTG) of rats that generally show a much
broader variation and higher levels of intermale aggression
than commonly used laboratory strains of rats.
Methods Resident animals were intracerebroventricularly
(icv) administered with different doses of synthetic oxytocin
and oxytocin receptor antagonist, alone and in combination,
in order to manipulate brain oxytocin functioning and to
assess their behavioral response to an intruder.
Results Our data clearly demonstrate that acute icv administered
oxytocin produces dose-dependent and receptorselective
changes in social behavior, reducing aggression
and potentiating social exploration. These antiaggressive
effects are stronger in the more offensive rats. On the other
hand, administration of an oxytocin receptor antagonist
tends to increase (nonsignificantly) aggression only in
low–medium aggressive animals.
Conclusions These results suggest that transiently enhancing
brain oxytocin function has potent antiaggressive effects,
whereas its attenuation tends to enhance aggressiveness. In
addition, a possible inverse relationship between trait aggression
and endogenous oxytocinergic signaling is revealed.
Overall, this study emphasizes the importance of brain
oxytocinergic signaling for regulating intermale offensive aggression.
This study supports the suggestion that oxytocin
receptor agonists could clinically be useful for curbing heightened
aggression seen in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders
like antisocial personality disorder, autism, and addiction.
Gil, M., Bhatt, R., Picotte, K. B., & Hull, E. M. (2013). Sexual experience increases oxytocin receptor gene expression and protein in the medial preoptic area of the male rat. In Psychoneuroendocrinology (Vol. 38, pp. 1688–1697). Pergamon Press.
Abstract: Oxytocin (OT) promotes social and reproductive behaviors in mammals, and OT deficits may be linked to disordered social behaviors like autism and severe anxiety. Male rat sexual behavior is an excellent model for OT regulation of behavior, as its pattern and neural substrates are well characterized. We previously reported that OT microinjected into the medial preoptic area (MPOA), a major integrative site for male sexual behavior, facilitates copulation in sexually experienced male rats, whereas intra-MPOA injection of an OT antagonist (OTA) inhibits copulation. In the present studies, copulation on the day of sacrifice stimulated OTR mRNA expression in the MPOA, irrespective of previous sexual experience, with the highest levels observed in first-time copulators. In addition, sexually experienced males had higher levels of OTR protein in the MPOA than sexually naïve males and first-time copulators. Finally, intra-MPOA injection of OT facilitated mating in sexually naive males. Others have reported a positive correlation between OT mRNA levels and male sexual behavior. Our studies show that OT in the MPOA facilitates mating in both sexually naive and experienced males, some of the behavioral effects of OT are mediated by the OTR, and sexual experience is associated with increased OTR expression in the MPOA. Taken together, these data suggest a reciprocal interaction between central OT and behavior, in which OT facilitates copulation and copulation stimulates the OT/OTR system in the brain.
Lesimple, C., Reverchon-Billot, L., Galloux, P., Stomp, M., Boichot, L., Coste, C., et al. (2020). Free movement: A key for welfare improvement in sport horses? Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., 225, 104972.
Abstract: Horses, and in particular sport horses, remain housed predominantly in single stalls. One of the main reported reasons is the fear that they will become agitated and injure themselves and thereby impair their performance if released in paddocks. The hour spent daily at work is also assumed to be sufficient to satisfy the horses' needs for locomotion. Growing scientific evidence shows that single stall housing has negative consequences on horses' welfare and that time for free movement is necessary. Our aim was to assess the feasibility of allowing sport horses used to staying permanently in their stall (except for 1 h riding/day) daily free time in a paddock and to evaluate its potential impact on their welfare using two behavioural reliable indicators (stereotypic behaviours and ear position), as well as selected blood parameters (blood cell count, oxytocin and serotonin concentrations). Two experiments were conducted on the same site. The first experiment evaluated sport horses' habituation to the novel situation of daily sessions in a paddock, and recorded welfare indicators in their stall before and during the experiment, comparing horses that were taken outdoors (experimental) and those that stayed in their stall (control). The second experiment evaluated the impact of this daily free time in a paddock on horses' welfare and its durability, focusing on positive indicators. Behavioural observations in paddocks showed that even horses that had never experienced free movement outside their stall habituated rapidly to this situation. The presence of hay in the paddock, may have speeded up habituation. Their restricted living conditions were associated with abnormalities in blood cell count that were not overcome during the time of daily paddock sessions but behavioural indicators showed that their welfare improved. In the second study, the experimental horses' welfare improved during the paddock release period, in particular their stereotypic behaviours decreased and oxytocin levels increased. No effects on serotonin concentrations could be evidenced. These effects were directly associated with being in paddock, as the indicators returned rapidly to their previous levels indicating compromised welfare when the paddock release sessions stopped. In conclusion, it can be recommended to release sport horses for free movement in paddocks as welfare is improved and subjective assessment by caretakers indicated minimal risks.
Levy, F., Keller, M., & Poindron, P. (2004). Olfactory regulation of maternal behavior in mammals. Horm Behav, 46(3), 284–302.
Abstract: In mammals, olfactory cues are extensively used in many aspects of maternal care to ensure the coordination of mother-infant interactions and consequently the normal development of the offspring. Outside the period of parturition and lactation, when the young are not a behavioral priority, olfactory cues play an inhibitory role on maternal responsiveness since in most mammalian species studied so far, nonpregnant females find the odor of young aversive. On the contrary at the time of parturition, a shift in the hedonic value of infantile odors occurs so that the young now become a very potent stimulus and this sensorial processing constitutes an important part of the maternal motivational system. Moreover, infants' odors provide a basis for individual recognition by their mothers and some species (ungulates) have developed highly specialized mechanisms for processing of the infant signals. Perception of the smell of the young also regulates various aspects of maternal behavior. Dodecyl propionate, a compound released by of pup's preputial glands, has been shown to influence anogenital licking behavior, a fundamental pattern of maternal behavior in rodents. While there is no functional specificity of either the main or the accessory olfactory systems in the development of maternal behavior amongst species, it appears that only the main olfactory system is implicated when individual odor discrimination of the young is required. Neural structures, such as the main olfactory bulb, undergo profound changes when exposed to offspring odors at parturition. These changes in synaptic circuitry contribute both to maternal responsiveness to these odors, to their memorization, and to effects of long-term maternal experience.
Lim, M. M., & Young, L. J. (2006). Neuropeptidergic regulation of affiliative behavior and social bonding in animals. Hormon. Behav., 50(4), 506–517.
Abstract: Social relationships are essential for maintaining human mental health, yet little is known about the brain mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of social bonds. Animal models are powerful tools for investigating the neurobiological mechanisms regulating the cognitive processes leading to the development of social relationships and for potentially extending our understanding of the human condition. In this review, we discuss the roles of the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin in the regulation of social bonding as well as related social behaviors which culminate in the formation of social relationships in animal models. The formation of social bonds is a hierarchical process involving social motivation and approach, the processing of social stimuli and formation of social memories, and the social attachment itself. Oxytocin and vasopressin have been implicated in each of these processes. Specifically, these peptides facilitate social affiliation and parental nurturing behavior, are essential for social recognition in rodents, and are involved in the formation of selective mother-infant bonds in sheep and pair bonds in monogamous voles. The convergence of evidence from these animal studies makes oxytocin and vasopressin attractive candidates for the neural modulation of human social relationships as well as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of psychiatric disorders associated with disruptions in social behavior, including autism.
Oliva, J. L., Rault, J. - L., Appleton, B., & Lill, A. (2015). Oxytocin enhances the appropriate use of human social cues by the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) in an object choice task. Anim. Cogn., 18(3), 767–775.
Abstract: It has been postulated that the neuropeptide, oxytocin, is involved in human–dog bonding. This may explain why dogs, compared to wolves, are such good performers on object choice tasks, which test their ability to attend to, and use, human social cues in order to find hidden food treats. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of intranasal oxytocin administration, which is known to increase social cognition in humans, on domestic dogs’ ability to perform such a task. We hypothesised that dogs would perform better on the task after an intranasal treatment of oxytocin. Sixty-two (31 males and 31 females) pet dogs completed the experiment over two different testing sessions, 5–15 days apart. Intranasal oxytocin or a saline control was administered 45 min before each session. All dogs received both treatments in a pseudo-randomised, counterbalanced order. Data were collected as scores out of ten for each of the four blocks of trials in each session. Two blocks of trials were conducted using a momentary distal pointing cue and two using a gazing cue, given by the experimenter. Oxytocin enhanced performance using momentary distal pointing cues, and this enhanced level of performance was maintained over 5–15 days time in the absence of oxytocin. Oxytocin also decreased aversion to gazing cues, in that performance was below chance levels after saline administration but at chance levels after oxytocin administration.