Sonia A. Cavigelli

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Individuals who are fearful of novelty have a larger hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response than do nonfearful individuals. We hypothesized that a fearful behavioral style emerging early in life would be associated with life-long altered adrenal activity. Because there is ample physiological evidence both costs and benefits of adrenal activation, we(More)
Many studies have shown that low dominance status within a social group is associated with elevated glucocorticoid hormone production, a common index of physiological stress. However, the reverse may be true among cooperatively breeding female mammals with high reproductive skew; that is, high dominance status is associated with elevated glucocorticoid(More)
Infant killing by primates is highly controversial. Sexual selection of infanticidal males has been disputed, especially for seasonally breeding species, in which death of an infant does not advance conception of the next infant. We report attacks, infants found wounded, and predation in seasonally breeding Eulemur and Lemur at Berenty, Beza Mahafaly and(More)
The challenge hypothesis (J. C. Wingfield, R. E. Hegner, B. G. Ball, and A. M. Duffy, 1990, Am. Nat. 136, 829-846) proposes that in birds, reptiles, and fish, "the frequency or intensity of reproductive aggression as an effect of T[estosterone] is strongest in situations of social instability, such as during the formation of dominance relationships, the(More)
OBJECTIVE Although the detrimental physical health effects of social isolation have been known for three decades, the answers to how and why social relationships generally improve health remain elusive. Social relationships are not always beneficial, and we examined a structural dimension that may bring about their salubrious effects: affiliative(More)
The circadian glucocorticoid rhythm provides important information on the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in individuals. Frequent repeated blood sampling can limit the kinds of studies conducted on this rhythm, particularly in small laboratory rodents that have limited blood volumes and are easily stressed by handling. We developed(More)
Fecal hormone assays provide a powerful tool for noninvasive monitoring of endocrine status in wild animals. In this study we validated a protocol for extracting and measuring glucocorticoids in free-living and captive Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi). We first compared two commonly used extraction protocols to determine which performed(More)
In a life span study, we examined how the social environment regulates naturally occurring tumor development and malignancy in genetically prone Sprague-Dawley rats. We randomly assigned this gregarious species to live either alone or in groups of five female rats. Mammary tumor burden among social isolates increased to 84 times that of age-matched(More)
Animals that experience adverse events in early life often have life-long changes to their physiology and behavior. Long-term effects of stress during early life have been studied extensively, but less attention has been given to the consequences of negative experiences solely during the adolescent phase. Adolescence is a particularly sensitive period of(More)
As a first step in determining the influence of maternal behaviour on sibling behavioural variance, we tested whether rat mothers differentially interact with neonates within the same litter. We also tested whether fading of an ink-mark on individual pups could provide an index of within-litter variance in maternal licking in laboratory rats. In Study 1,(More)