Sara E. Schrock

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Proximate neural mechanisms that influence preferences for groups of a given size are almost wholly unknown. In the highly gregarious zebra finch (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata), blockade of nonapeptide receptors by an oxytocin (OT) antagonist significantly reduced time spent with large groups and familiar social partners independent of time spent in(More)
Quantitative stir bar sorptive extraction methodology, followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and element-specific atomic emission detection (AED) were utilized to analyze seasonal changes in volatile components of preen oil secretions in Junco hyemalis. Juncos were held in long days to simulate breeding conditions, or short days to(More)
The homologous neuropeptides vasotocin (VT) and vasopressin (VP) influence agonistic behaviours across many taxa, but peptide-behaviour relationships are complex and purportedly species-specific. Putative species-specific effects in songbirds are confounded with context, however, such that territorial species have been tested only in resident-intruder(More)
Because of their role in mediating life-history trade-offs, hormones are expected to be strongly associated with components of fitness; however, few studies have examined how natural selection acts on hormonal variation in the wild. In a songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), field experiments have shown that exogenous testosterone alters(More)
Previous comparisons of territorial and gregarious finches (family Estrildidae) suggest the hypothesis that arginine vasotocin (VT) neurons in the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm) and V(1a)-like receptors in the lateral septum (LS) promote flocking behavior. Consistent with this hypothesis, we now show that intraseptal infusions of a V(1a)(More)
In mammals, rostrocaudal columns of the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) regulate diverse behavioral and physiological functions, including sexual and fight-or-flight behavior, but homologous columns have not been identified in non-mammalian species. In contrast to mammals, in which the PAG lies ventral to the superior colliculus and surrounds the(More)
Many bird species exhibit dramatic seasonal switches between territoriality and flocking, but whereas neuroendocrine mechanisms of territorial aggression have been extensively studied, those of seasonal flocking are unknown. We collected brains in spring and winter from male field sparrows (Spizella pusilla), which seasonally flock, and male song sparrows(More)
Steroid-induced changes in dopaminergic activity underlie many correlations between gonadal hormones and social behaviors. However, the effects of steroid hormones on the various behaviorally relevant dopamine cell groups remain unclear, and ecologically relevant species differences remain virtually unexplored. We examined the effects of estradiol (E2)(More)
All jawed vertebrates produce a form of oxytocin (OT), and in birds, mammals and fish, OT is strongly associated with affiliation. However, remarkably few data are available on the roles of OT and OT receptors (OTRs) in aggression. Because OT and OTRs exert anxiolytic effects in mammals (although context-specific) and modulate stress coping, we hypothesized(More)
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