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Hormones and behavioral traits

Meghan H Puglia, Jessica J Connelly, James P Morris
Aberrant attentional biases to social stimuli have been implicated in a number of disorders including autism and social anxiety disorder. Oxytocin, a naturally-occurring mammalian hormone and neuromodulator involved in regulating social behavior, has been proposed to impact basic biological systems that facilitate the detection of and orientation to social information. Here, we investigate a role for naturally-occurring variability in the endogenous oxytocinergic system in regulating neural response during attention to social information...
June 15, 2018: Translational Psychiatry
Marion I van den Heuvel, Marcel A L M van Assen, Vivette Glover, Stephan Claes, Bea R H Van den Bergh
BACKGROUND: Maternal psychological distress during pregnancy is related to adverse child behavioral and emotional outcomes later in life, such as ADHD and anxiety/depression. The underlying mechanisms for this, however, are still largely unknown. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis, with its most important effector hormone cortisol, has been proposed as a mechanism, but results have been inconsistent. The current study investigated the association between maternal psychological distress (i...
June 5, 2018: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Meredith C Miles, Maren N Vitousek, Jerry F Husak, Michele A Johnson, Lynn B Martin, Conor C Taff, Cedric Zimmer, Matthew B Lovern, Matthew J Fuxjager
Circulating steroid hormone levels exhibit high variation both within and between individuals, leading some to hypothesize that these phenotypes are more variable than other morphological, physiological, and behavioral traits. This should have profound implications for the evolution of steroid signaling systems, but few studies have examined how endocrine variation compares to that of other traits or differs among populations. Here we provide such an analysis by first exploring how variation in three measures of corticosterone (CORT)- baseline, stress-induced, and post-dexamethasone injection- compares to key traits characterizing morphology (wing length, mass), physiology (reactive oxygen metabolite concentration [d-ROMs] and antioxidant capacity), and behavior (provisioning rate) in two populations of tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)...
June 12, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Matthew J Fuxjager, Eric R Schuppe
Sex steroids mediate the organization and activation of masculine reproductive phenotypes in diverse vertebrate taxa. However, the effects of sex steroid action in this context vary tremendously, in that steroid action influences reproductive physiology and behavior in markedly different ways (even among closely related species). This leads to the idea that the mechanisms underlying sex steroid action similarly differ across vertebrates in a manner that supports diversification of important sexual traits. Here, we highlight the Evolutionary Potential Hypothesis as a framework for understanding how androgen-dependent reproductive behavior evolves...
June 5, 2018: Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Tim S Jessop, Meagan Lane, Robbie S Wilson, Edward J Narayan
Phenotypic plasticity, broadly defined as the capacity of one genotype to produce more than one phenotype, is a key mechanism for how animals adapt to environmental (including thermal) variation. Vertebrate glucocorticoid hormones exert broad-scale regulation of physiological, behavioral, and morphological traits that influence fitness under many life-history or environmental contexts. Yet the capacity for vertebrates to demonstrate different types of thermal plasticity, including rapid compensation or longer acclimation in glucocorticoid hormone function, when subject to different environmental temperature regimes remains poorly addressed...
July 2018: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Arunima Roy, Kariina Laas, Triin Kurrikoff, Andreas Reif, Toomas Veidebaum, Klaus-Peter Lesch, Jaanus Harro
BACKGROUND: Corticotrophin-releasing hormone receptor-1 gene (CRHR1) variants have been implicated in mental health. However, little is known of the effects of CRHR1 on long-term mental health and behavior in presence of environmental stressors. We assess the effects of CRHR1 variant (rs17689918)-by-environment interactions on emotionality and behavioral traits, including anxiety, depression, aggression and antisocial behaviors. We also determine effects of rs17689918-by-environment-by-sex interactions on the above-mentioned outcomes...
May 14, 2018: Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Thomas F Denson, Siobhan M O'Dean, Khandis R Blake, Joanne R Beames
We review the literature on aggression in women with an emphasis on laboratory experimentation and hormonal and brain mechanisms. Women tend to engage in more indirect forms of aggression (e.g., spreading rumors) than other types of aggression. In laboratory studies, women are less aggressive than men, but provocation attenuates this difference. In the real world, women are just as likely to aggress against their romantic partner as men are, but men cause more serious physical and psychological harm. A very small minority of women are also sexually violent...
2018: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Yuki Kobayashi, Risa Takemoto, Shogo Yamato, Tomoya Okada, Michihiko Iijima, Yoshikatsu Uematsu, Shigeyuki Chaki, Yumiko Saito
Regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins are negative regulators of heterotrimeric G proteins that act by accelerating Gα-mediated GTPase activity to terminate G protein-coupled receptor-associated signaling. RGS8 is expressed in several brain regions involved with movement and mood. To investigate the role of RGS8 in vivo, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing brain RGS8 (RGS8tg). RGS8 gene and protein expressions were examined by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively, and a significant increase in RGS8 protein was detected in the hippocampal CA1 region compared with wild-type mice (WT)...
May 11, 2018: Neuroscience
Sahnzi C Moyers, James S Adelman, Damien R Farine, Ignacio T Moore, Dana M Hawley
Animal personality has been linked to individual variation in both stress physiology and social behaviors, but few studies have simultaneously examined covariation between personality traits, stress hormone levels, and behaviors in free-living animals. We investigated relationships between exploratory behavior (one aspect of animal personality), stress physiology, and social and foraging behaviors in wild house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). We conducted novel environment assays after collecting samples of baseline and stress-induced plasma corticosterone concentrations from a subset of house finches...
May 11, 2018: Hormones and Behavior
Macià Buades-Rotger, Christin Engelke, Ulrike M Krämer
The steroid hormone testosterone (T) has been suggested to influence reactive aggression upon its action on the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a key brain region for threat detection. However, it is unclear whether T modulates resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the BLA, and whether this predicts subsequent aggressive behavior. Aggressive interactions themselves, which often induce changes in T concentrations, could further alter BLA rsFC, but this too remains untested. Here we investigated the effect of endogenous T on rsFC of the BLA at baseline as well as after an aggressive encounter, and whether this was related to behavioral aggression in healthy young women (n = 39)...
May 9, 2018: Brain Imaging and Behavior
Paulina L González-Gómez, Valentina Echeverria, Cristian F Estades, Jonathan H Perez, Jesse S Krause, Pablo Sabat, Jonathon Li, Dietmar Kültz, John C Wingfield
1.The timing and duration of life history stages (LHS) within the annual cycle can be affected by local environmental cues which are integrated through endocrine signaling mechanisms and changes in protein function. Most animals express a single LHS within a given period of the year because synchronous expression of LHSs is thought to be too costly energetically. However, in very rare and extremely stable conditions, breeding and molt have been observed to overlap extensively in Rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) living in valleys of the Atacama Desert - one of the most stable and aseasonal environments on Earth...
May 9, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Barnaby J W Dixson, Khandis R Blake, Thomas F Denson, Amany Gooda-Vossos, Siobhan M O'Dean, Danielle Sulikowski, Markus J Rantala, Robert C Brooks
The ovulatory shift hypothesis proposes that women's preferences for masculine physical and behavioral traits are greater at the peri-ovulatory period than at other points of the menstrual cycle. However, many previous studies used self-reported menstrual cycle data to estimate fecundability rather than confirming the peri-ovulatory phase hormonally. Here we report two studies and three analyses revisiting the ovulatory shift hypothesis with respect to both facial masculinity and beardedness. In Study 1, a large sample of female participants (N = 2,161) self-reported their cycle phase and provided ratings for faces varying in beardedness (clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, full beards) and masculinity (-50%, -25%, natural, +25% and +50%) in a between-subjects design...
April 19, 2018: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Holly L Holt, Gabriel Villar, Weiyi Cheng, Jun Song, Christina M Grozinger
Susceptibility to pathogens and parasites often varies between sexes due to differences in life history traits and selective pressures. Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are damaging intestinal pathogens of European honey bees (Apis mellifera). Nosema pathology has primarily been characterized in female workers where infection is energetically costly and accelerates worker behavioral maturation. Few studies, however, have examined infection costs in male honey bees (drones) to determine if Nosema similarly affects male energetic status and sexual maturation...
April 26, 2018: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
S Radke, E M Seidel, R N Boubela, H Thaler, H Metzler, I Kryspin-Exner, E Moser, U Habel, B Derntl
Social exclusion is a complex phenomenon, with wide-ranging immediate and delayed effects on well-being, hormone levels, brain activation and motivational behavior. Building upon previous work, the current fMRI study investigated affective, endocrine and neural responses to social exclusion in a more naturalistic Cyberball task in 40 males and 40 females. As expected, social exclusion elicited well-documented affective and neural responses, i.e., increased anger and distress, as well as increased exclusion-related activation of the anterior insula, the posterior-medial frontal cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex...
April 19, 2018: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Andrew C Gallup, Bernhard Fink
Handgrip strength (HGS) is a robust measure of overall muscular strength and function, and has long been predictive of a multitude of health factors and physical outcomes for both men and women. The fact that HGS represents such a ubiquitous measure of health and vitality may reflect the significance of this trait during human evolution. This trait is also highly sexually dimorphic due to influences of androgenic hormones and fat-free body mass, suggesting that it has been further elaborated through sexual selection...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Beau A Alward, Charlotte A Cornil, Jacques Balthazart, Gregory F Ball
Sex steroid hormones act during early development to shape the circuitry upon which these same hormones act in adulthood to control behavioral responses to various stimuli. The "organizational" vs. "activational" distinction was proposed to explain this temporal difference in hormone action. In both of these cases steroids were thought to act genomically over a time-scale of days to weeks. However, sex steroids can affect behavior over short (e.g., seconds or minutes) time-scales. Here, we discuss how testosterone controls birdsong via actions at different sites and over different time-scales, with an emphasis on this process in canaries (Serinus canaria)...
April 23, 2018: Hormones and Behavior
Susanne Vogel, Lars Schwabe
Learning by explicit instruction is a highly efficient way to instantaneously learn new behaviors and to overcome potentially harmful learning by trial-and-error. Despite the importance of instructed learning for education, influences on the efficacy of an instruction are currently unknown. Decades of research, however, showed that stress is a powerful modulator of learning and memory, including the acquisition of stimulus-response (S-R) associations. Moreover, brain areas critical for instructed learning are a major target of hormones and neurotransmitters released during stress...
May 2018: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Elina Immonen, Anni Hämäläinen, Wiebke Schuett, Maja Tarka
Sex differences in life history, physiology, and behavior are nearly ubiquitous across taxa, owing to sex-specific selection that arises from different reproductive strategies of the sexes. The pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) hypothesis predicts that most variation in such traits among individuals, populations, and species falls along a slow-fast pace-of-life continuum. As a result of their different reproductive roles and environment, the sexes also commonly differ in pace-of-life, with important consequences for the evolution of POLS...
2018: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Arisa Hirano, Pei-Ken Hsu, Luoying Zhang, Lijuan Xing, Thomas McMahon, Maya Yamazaki, Louis J Ptáček, Ying-Hui Fu
Adequate sleep is essential for physical and mental health. We previously identified a missense mutation in the human DEC2 gene ( BHLHE41 ) leading to the familial natural short sleep behavioral trait. DEC2 is a transcription factor regulating the circadian clock in mammals, although its role in sleep regulation has been unclear. Here we report that prepro-orexin , also known as hypocretin ( Hcrt ), gene expression is increased in the mouse model expressing the mutant h DEC2 transgene (h DEC2-P384R ). Prepro-orexin encodes a precursor protein of a neuropeptide producing orexin A and B (hcrt1 and hcrt2), which is enriched in the hypothalamus and regulates maintenance of arousal...
March 27, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
A Goutte, A Meillère, C Barbraud, H Budzinski, P Labadie, L Peluhet, H Weimerskirch, K Delord, O Chastel
Population consequences of chronic exposure to multiple pollutants at low environmental doses remain speculative, because of the lack of appropriate long-term monitoring surveys. This study integrates proximate and ultimate aspects of persistent organic pollutants (POP) burden in free-living vertebrates, by coupling hormonal and behavioral endpoints, life-history traits, and population dynamics. Blood samples (N=70) were collected in South polar skuas during two breeding periods, in 2003 and 2005, and individuals were annually monitored until 2011...
August 1, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
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