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Yolk testosterone modulates persistence of neophobic responses in adult zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata

Tobler, Michael LU and Sandell, Maria LU (2007) In Hormones and Behavior 52(5). p.640-645
Abstract
Individual differences in animal behavior can be attributed to genetic as well as non-genetic influences. One mechanism by which the behavioral phenotype of an individual can be shaped is via transmission of maternal sex steroids. In this study, we examined the role of yolk testosterone (T) in controlling neophobia in 9-month-old, sexually mature zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Offspring hatched from either T-treated or control eggs were subjected to a sequential series of behavioral tests in which we measured the neophobic response and its persistence towards two unfamiliar stimuli. Birds from T-treated and control eggs did not differ in their latencies to approach and eat a novel food source during their first encounter. However,... (More)
Individual differences in animal behavior can be attributed to genetic as well as non-genetic influences. One mechanism by which the behavioral phenotype of an individual can be shaped is via transmission of maternal sex steroids. In this study, we examined the role of yolk testosterone (T) in controlling neophobia in 9-month-old, sexually mature zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Offspring hatched from either T-treated or control eggs were subjected to a sequential series of behavioral tests in which we measured the neophobic response and its persistence towards two unfamiliar stimuli. Birds from T-treated and control eggs did not differ in their latencies to approach and eat a novel food source during their first encounter. However, egg treatment affected subsequent habituation. Latencies decreased in both groups over a habituation period of 5 days, but considerably more so in T-offspring. Although males appeared to approach novel food faster than females, there was no overall sex effect during the habituation period. When a novel object was added in combination with the previously learned food stimulus, this caused an behavioral shift in approach latencies. In males, control offspring had significantly shorter latencies than T-offspring, whereas there was no difference among females. The latency to eat in the same test was not significantly affected by sex or egg treatment. Our results demonstrate long-term effects of prenatal T on neophobic responses in adult zebra finches. We hypothesize that prenatal T may be one underlying mechanism for individual differences routine formation. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
neophobia, testosterone, maternal effects, behavioral development
in
Hormones and Behavior
volume
52
issue
5
pages
640 - 645
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000252035800011
  • scopus:36048967261
ISSN
1095-6867
DOI
10.1016/j.yhbeh.2007.07.016
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
86ad2a3f-c54d-4b9d-8c06-ab30f6226d0f (old id 1408378)
date added to LUP
2009-06-02 09:17:00
date last changed
2017-06-18 03:29:49
@article{86ad2a3f-c54d-4b9d-8c06-ab30f6226d0f,
  abstract     = {Individual differences in animal behavior can be attributed to genetic as well as non-genetic influences. One mechanism by which the behavioral phenotype of an individual can be shaped is via transmission of maternal sex steroids. In this study, we examined the role of yolk testosterone (T) in controlling neophobia in 9-month-old, sexually mature zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Offspring hatched from either T-treated or control eggs were subjected to a sequential series of behavioral tests in which we measured the neophobic response and its persistence towards two unfamiliar stimuli. Birds from T-treated and control eggs did not differ in their latencies to approach and eat a novel food source during their first encounter. However, egg treatment affected subsequent habituation. Latencies decreased in both groups over a habituation period of 5 days, but considerably more so in T-offspring. Although males appeared to approach novel food faster than females, there was no overall sex effect during the habituation period. When a novel object was added in combination with the previously learned food stimulus, this caused an behavioral shift in approach latencies. In males, control offspring had significantly shorter latencies than T-offspring, whereas there was no difference among females. The latency to eat in the same test was not significantly affected by sex or egg treatment. Our results demonstrate long-term effects of prenatal T on neophobic responses in adult zebra finches. We hypothesize that prenatal T may be one underlying mechanism for individual differences routine formation. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Tobler, Michael and Sandell, Maria},
  issn         = {1095-6867},
  keyword      = {neophobia,testosterone,maternal effects,behavioral development},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {640--645},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Hormones and Behavior},
  title        = {Yolk testosterone modulates persistence of neophobic responses in adult zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2007.07.016},
  volume       = {52},
  year         = {2007},
}