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Integrative studies of genetics, neurobiology and behaviour indicate that polymorphism in specific genes contributes to variation observed in some complex social behaviours. The neuropeptide arginine vasopressin plays an important role in the regulation of a variety of social behaviours, including social attachment of males to females, through its action on(More)
We tested the hypothesis that the presence of an opposite-sex conspecific will result in time-related changes in measures of reproductive activation. We housed male-female pairs of pine voles together for 0, 2, 6, 12, or 24 h before collecting blood, reproductive organs and brains for immunocytochemical analysis of LHRH and c-fos. Control animals were never(More)
Prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) family groups were examined to determine possible indirect fitness benefits from the presence of juvenile helpers at the natal nest. The reproductive performance of family groups retaining two juveniles was compared with that of families in which all juveniles were removed when the subsequent litter was born. Litter sizes(More)
Social interactions are central to most animals and have a fundamental impact upon the phenotype of an individual. Social behavior (social interactions among conspecifics) represents a central challenge to the integration of the functional and mechanistic bases of complex behavior. Traditionally, studies of proximate and ultimate elements of social behavior(More)
Recent discoveries of single-gene influences on social behaviour have generated a great deal of interest in the proximate mechanisms underlying the expression of complex behaviours. Length polymorphism in a microsatellite in the regulatory region of the gene encoding the vasopressin 1a receptor (avpr1a) has been associated with both inter- and(More)
Among various arvicoline rodents, reproduction is influenced to varying degrees by social factors, including behavioral or chemical cues. Since previous research suggested that chemosignals from adult males reproductively activate female pine voles (Microtus pine-torum), we sought to determine specifically what types of stimuli promote the activation(More)
Males of many mammalian species exhibit contest competition and scramble competition for mates, but the relationship between these 2 forms of competition remains poorly understood. The authors measured dominance rank and spatial ability as traits likely to be selected by contest and scramble competition, respectively, among male meadow voles (Microtus(More)
The neural and molecular mechanisms underlying social behavior - including their functional significance and evolution - can only be fully understood using data obtained under multiple social, environmental, and physiological conditions. Understanding the complexity of social behavior requires integration across levels of analysis in both laboratory and(More)
In co-operatively breeding birds and mammals, philopatric females are often reproductively suppressed. Many studies have focused on the functional significance of reproductive suppression, but further investigation of the mechanisms involved is required for a complete understanding of this process. This study investigated whether reproductive suppression in(More)
Characterizing the spatial arrangement of related individuals within populations can convey information about opportunities for the evolution of kin-selected social behaviors, the potential for inbreeding, and the geographic distribution of genetic variation. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are socially monogamous rodents that sometimes breed(More)