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The neuropeptide vasopressin and its receptor V1aR are broadly implicated in social behavior and play a central role in several key aspects of male mating tactics in voles. In the prairie vole, a microsatellite in the cis-regulatory region of the gene encoding V1aR (avpr1a) provides a potential genetic basis for individual variation in neural phenotype and(More)
Recent studies have demonstrated that physiological doses of progesterone may facilitate the androgen-dependent display of male sexual behavior in laboratory rats and three species of lizard. We used mice with a targeted disruption of the progesterone receptor to investigate whether such interactions exist in male mice and whether they may be modified by(More)
FOXP2, the first gene causally linked to a human language disorder, is implicated in song acquisition, production, and perception in oscine songbirds, the evolution of speech and language in hominids, and the evolution of echolocation in bats. Despite the evident relevance of Foxp2 to vertebrate acoustic communication, a comprehensive description of neural(More)
Much attention has focused on distinguishing between social and genetic monogamy in avian taxa. However , surprisingly few studies have directly investigated this distinction among mammals. We investigated the genetic mating system of the prairie vole, Microtus ochrogaster, a popular model for mammalian monog-amy and human attachment. We used space use(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)
In the socially monogamous prairie vole, Microtus ochrogaster, male affiliation and parental care are influenced by the neuropeptide arginine vasopressin and expression of its receptor V1aR. If parental care and adult affiliation can be considered a behavioral syndrome, females might use male affiliative behavior as a cue to choose a good father. We(More)
The vasopressin V1a receptor is a gene known to be central to species differences in social behavior, including differences between the monogamous prairie vole and its promiscuous congeners. To examine how individual differences compare with species differences, we characterize variability in the expression of the vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) in a large(More)
Although prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are socially monogamous, males vary in both sexual and spatial fidelity. Most males form pairbonds, cohabit with one female, and defend territories. Wandering males, in contrast, have expansive home ranges that overlap many males and females. In the laboratory, pairing is regulated by arginine vasopressin and(More)
The neuropeptides arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) are key modulators of vertebrate sociality. Although some general behavioral functions of AVP and OT are broadly conserved, the detailed consequences of peptide release seem to be regulated by species-specific patterns of receptor distribution. We used autoradiography to characterize central(More)
Mating decisions contribute to both the fitness of individuals and the emergence of evolutionary diversity, yet little is known about their cognitive architecture. We propose a simple model that describes how preferences are translated into decisions and how seemingly disparate patterns of preference can emerge from a single perceptual process. The model(More)