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Animal Behaviour

Nikki Kells, Ngaio Beausoleil, Craig Johnson, Mhairi Sutherland
The aim of this research was to evaluate the welfare of pre-weaned piglets euthanised using three different gas treatments: 100% carbon dioxide (CO₂), 100% argon (Ar) or a mixture of 60% Ar/40% carbon dioxide (Ar/CO₂). Two studies (n = 5 piglets/treatment/study) were conducted: (1) behavioural and physiological data were collected from conscious piglets during exposure to test gases via immersion in a pre-filled chamber and (2) electrophysiological data were collected from lightly anaesthetised, intubated and mechanically ventilated piglets exposed to the same test gases...
March 16, 2018: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
Kamilla Blecharz-Klin, Adriana Wawer, Katarzyna Jawna-Zboińska, Justyna Pyrzanowska, Agnieszka Piechal, Dagmara Mirowska-Guzel, Ewa Widy-Tyszkiewicz
The biochemical and behavioral responses to prenatal and early postnatal exposure to paracetamol in rats are not well understood. The effect of daily maternal and early life administration of 5 mg/kg (group P5) or 15 mg/kg paracetamol (group P15) was evaluated in two-month old male rats, relative to control animals receiving tap water (Con). Social behavior and episodic memory were investigated with Social Interaction and Novel Object Recognition (NOR) tests. Quantification of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was determined in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)...
March 12, 2018: Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior
Jacobus H Visser, Nigel C Bennett, Bettine Jansen van Vuuren
The subterranean niche harbours animals with extreme adaptations. These adaptations decrease the vagility of taxa and, along with other behavioural adaptations, often result in isolated populations characterized by small effective population sizes, high inbreeding, population bottlenecks, genetic drift and consequently, high spatial genetic structure. Although information is available for some species, estimates of genetic diversity and whether this variation is spatially structured, is lacking for the Cape mole-rat (Georychus capensis)...
2018: PloS One
Amy E Leedale, Stuart P Sharp, Michelle Simeoni, Elva J H Robinson, Ben J Hatchwell
In animal societies, characteristic demographic and dispersal patterns may lead to genetic structuring of populations, generating the potential for kin selection to operate. However, even in genetically structured populations, social interactions may still require kin discrimination for cooperative behaviour to be directed towards relatives. Here, we use molecular genetics and long-term field data to investigate genetic structure in an adult population of long-tailed tits Aegithalos caudatus, a cooperative breeder in which helping occurs within extended kin networks, and relate this to patterns of helping with respect to kinship...
March 15, 2018: Molecular Ecology
Mariusz Papp, Piotr Gruca, Magdalena Lason-Tyburkiewicz, Ewa Litwa, Monika Niemczyk, Katarzyna Tota-Glowczyk, Agata Faron-Gorecka, Maciej Kusmider, Joanna Solich, Marta Szlachta, Paul Willner
We have previously reported the effects of intracranial injections of dopamine D1, D2 and D3 ligands in animals subjected to the Novel Object Recognition (NOR) test following exposure to chronic mild stress (CMS) and chronic treatment with risperidone (RSP). Here, we present some molecular biological data from the same animals. It was predicted that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signalling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) would reflect behavioural performance, implying an increase following acute administration of a D2 agonist or a D3 antagonist, blockade of this effect by CMS and its restoration by chronic RSP...
March 13, 2018: Behavioural Pharmacology
S C Mills, J L O'Donnell, G Bernardi, R Beldade
Group-living animals commonly display differences in behaviour, physiology and endocrine profiles between conspecifics within the group, which are tightly linked to reproduction. Teleosts exhibit a variety of social systems, where social status, as well as sex, has been linked to different androgen and oestrogen profiles. Levels of gonadal androgen and oestrogen were investigated as a function of sex and position in a social hierarchy in free-living individuals of the skunk anemonefish Amphiprion akallopisos, a protandrous pomacentrid fish with a size-based dominance hierarchical social system...
March 2018: Journal of Fish Biology
Linda Gerencsér, Nóra Bunford, Alexandra Moesta, Ádám Miklósi
Although there is ample data indicating that reward processing plays an important role in human psychopathologies and pharmaco- and psychotherapy treatment response, the corresponding animal-model research needs to be extended to models whose motivational and social dispositions are better generalizable than those of the traditional models. Accordingly, our aim was to develop and assess the reliability and validity of an owner-report rating scale of reward responsiveness in domestic dogs (N = 2149) and then to examine individual differences in reward responsiveness...
March 13, 2018: Scientific Reports
I N Hirota, L S Alves, M G Gandolfi, M Félix, J J T Ranzani, C V S Brandão
The objective of this study was to describe the reference values of cranial measurements of capybaras, correlating the ocular orbit with the nasolacrimal duct. The documentation of its results can contribute to standardizing characteristics of anatomical normality and favouring the correct diagnosis and treatment of changes. The capybara carcasses, maintained by freezing, were distributed in two groups (G) designated GA (n = 12) adult animals (A) and GY (n = 13) for young animals (Y). All subjects underwent dacryocystography examination by computed tomography (CT) and cranial measurements...
March 12, 2018: Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia
Andreagiovanni Reina, Thomas Bose, Vito Trianni, James A R Marshall
Through theoretical analysis, we show how a superorganism may react to stimulus variations according to psychophysical laws observed in humans and other animals. We investigate an empirically-motivated honeybee house-hunting model, which describes a value-sensitive decision process over potential nest-sites, at the level of the colony. In this study, we show how colony decision time increases with the number of available nests, in agreement with the Hick-Hyman law of psychophysics, and decreases with mean nest quality, in agreement with Piéron's law...
March 12, 2018: Scientific Reports
Dara A Satterfield, Peter P Marra, T Scott Sillett, Sonia Altizer
Migratory animals undergo seasonal and often spectacular movements and perform crucial ecosystem services. In response to anthropogenic changes, including food subsidies, some migratory animals are now migrating shorter distances or halting migration altogether and forming resident populations. Recent studies suggest that shifts in migratory behaviour can alter the risk of infection for wildlife. Although migration is commonly assumed to enhance pathogen spread, for many species, migration has the opposite effect of lowering infection risk, if animals escape from habitats where pathogen stages have accumulated or if strenuous journeys cull infected hosts...
May 5, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Katherine A J Daniels, J F Burn
It is generally accepted that animals move in a way that minimises energy use during regular gait and there is evidence that the principle might extend more generally to locomotor behaviour and manoeuvres. Jumping during locomotion is a useful manoeuvre that contributes to the versatility of legged locomotion and is within the repertoire of many terrestrial animals. We describe a simple ballistic model that can be used to identify a single unique trajectory of the body's centre of mass that minimises the mechanical work to initiate a jump, regardless of the approach velocity or take-off position...
March 12, 2018: Journal of Experimental Biology
Patrizia Piotti, Liam Paul Satchell, Tom Steven Lockhart
Trait impulsivity is an increasingly relevant topic for human and non-human animal personality research. There are similarities in dog and human manifestations of trait impulsivity at the behavioural, genetic, and neurobiological level. We investigated a well-validated measure of dog impulsivity and responsivity (the Dog Impulsivity Assessment Scale, DIAS) and a neuropsychological theory of human trait approach and avoidance (the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of personality, RST). Owners reported their dogs' dispositional behaviour on the DIAS, an RST scale modified to describe dogs' behaviour, and a list of common dog behaviour problems...
March 9, 2018: Behavioural Processes
Kate Suzanne Hutson, Alexander Karlis Brazenor, David Brendan Vaughan, Alejandro Trujillo-González
Global expansion in fish production and trade of aquatic ornamental species requires advances in aquatic animal health management. Aquatic parasite cultures permit diverse research opportunities to understand parasite-host dynamics and are essential to validate the efficacy of treatments that could reduce infections in captive populations. Monogeneans are important pathogenic parasites of captured captive fishes and exhibit a single-host life cycle, which makes them amenable to in vivo culture. Continuous cultures of oviparous monogenean parasites provide a valuable resource of eggs, oncomiracidia (larvae) and adult parasites for use in varied ecological and applied scientific research...
2018: Advances in Parasitology
M P Keane, M McGee, E G O'Riordan, A K Kelly, B Earley
The objectives of the study were to determine whether allometric equations are suitable for estimating the space requirements of finishing beef cattle housed on concrete slatted floors (CSF) and to examine the effect of fixed and dynamic space allowances on the performance and welfare of these cattle. Continental crossbred steers (n=120: mean initial live weight, 590 (SD 29.8) kg) were blocked by breed, weight and age and assigned to one of five space allowance treatments (three fixed and two dynamic) on CSF: i) 2...
February 24, 2018: Journal of Animal Science
Lídia Cantacorps, Héctor González-Pardo, Jorge L Arias, Olga Valverde, Nélida M Conejo
Prenatal and perinatal alcohol exposure caused by maternal alcohol intake during gestation and lactation periods can have long-lasting detrimental effects on the brain development and behaviour of offspring. Children diagnosed with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) display a wide range of cognitive, emotional and motor deficits, together with characteristic morphological abnormalities. Maternal alcohol binge drinking is particularly harmful for foetal and early postnatal brain development, as it involves exposure to high levels of alcohol over short periods of time...
March 8, 2018: Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
E J Ramos González, L J Ramirez Jirano, D Z García Martínez, G G Ortiz, L F Jave Suárez, C A Leal Cortes, O K Bitzer Quintero
INTRODUCTION: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, demyelinating, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system causing neuroinflammation. Experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE) is a model of the disease. MS is classically treated with interferon beta (IFN-β) and glatiramer acetate (GA). Melatonin (MLT) has been reported to modulate immune system responses. The aim of the present study is to analyse the effects of MLT administration in comparison with the first-line treatments for MS (IFN-β and GA)...
March 8, 2018: Neurología: Publicación Oficial de la Sociedad Española de Neurología
Edward H Reynolds
The word hysteria originated in the Corpus Hippocraticum (c420 BCE) as a natural explanation for a variety of diseases in women linked in the Greco-Roman mind to an animate or inanimate womb, but which in the last five centuries has evolved to describe an elusive disorder of brain ± mind in men and women, currently referred to by neurologists as "functional neurological disorder". The Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians had no knowledge of brain or psychological function. Babylonian and Assyrian descriptions of disease and behaviour include only rare examples suggestive of modern hysteria...
February 17, 2018: Journal of the Neurological Sciences
Simon Perrett, Sandrine Lesellier, Fiona Rogers, Gareth A Williams, Sonya Gowtage, Si Palmer, Deanna Dalley, Dipesh Davé, Ute Weyer, Emma Wood, Francisco J Salguero, Alex Nunez, Nick Reed, Mark A Chambers
European badgers (Meles meles) are a wildlife reservoir for Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) in parts of England, Wales and Ireland, constituting a potential source of tuberculosis (TB) infection for cattle. Vaccination of badgers against TB is one of the tools available for helping reduce the prevalence of bovine TB in badgers, made possible by the licensing in 2010 of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine for intramuscular administration to badgers (BadgerBCG). However, practical limitations associated with administering an injected vaccine to wild animals make an oral, bait-delivered form of the vaccine highly desirable...
March 7, 2018: Vaccine
Anna Kurek, Katarzyna Głombik, Jan Detka, Agnieszka Basta-Kaim, Marta Kubera, Władysław Lasoń, Bogusława Budziszewska
Obesity is a disease that often co-occurs with depression, and some evidence indicates that chronic stress in the perinatal period, in association with overactive glucocorticoids, can cause permanent changes that increase the risk of the development of both depression and obesity later in life. However, the mechanism responsible for the overly potent action of glucocorticoids in both depression and obesity is not known. The aim of the present study was to determine the expression of glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) and mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) and the factors that affect GR function (FKBP51, Bag-1 and HSP70) in a prenatal stress animal model of depression, a model of obesity and a model of both depression and obesity...
March 9, 2018: Journal of Neuroendocrinology
R L Blakemore, M R Mac Askill, R Shoorangiz, T J Anderson
Recent animal studies have shown that stress can profoundly affect motor behaviour and worsen motor deficits associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) by acting on the dopaminergic system, possibly due to stress-associated emotional changes. However, systematic investigation of the influence of acute emotional stressors on motor function in PD is scarce. Here we examined the effect of repeated exposure to negative emotional stimuli on grip-force control in PD. Eighteen patients with idiopathic PD (tested off-medication) and 18 healthy controls produced an isometric precision grip contraction at 15% of maximum force while viewing a series of unpleasant, pleasant, or neutral emotional images (blocked presentation; without visual feedback of force output)...
March 6, 2018: Neuropsychologia
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