Investigation of social, affective, and locomotor behavior of adolescent Brattleboro rats reveals a link between vasopressin’s actions on arousal and social behavior

Arginine vasopressin (AVP) has recently been implicated in juvenile and adolescent social development. How AVP influences social development, however, is not understood. Adolescent homozygous Brattleboro rats (Hom), which lack AVP due to a mutation in the Avp gene, exhibit fewer active social behaviors (e.g., social play) but more passive social behaviors (e.g., huddling) than their […]

Signs of attenuated depression-like behavior in vasopressin deficient Brattleboro rats

Vasopressin, a peptide hormone functioning also as a neurotransmitter, neuromodulator and regulator of the stress response is considered to be one of the factors related to the development and course of depression. In the present study, we have tested the hypothesis that congenital deficit of vasopressin in Brattleboro rats leads to attenuated depression-like behavior in […]

Neonatal tactile stimulation alleviates the negative effects of neonatal isolation on novel object recognition, sociability and neuroendocrine levels in male adult mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus)

Abstract Neonatal isolation results in long-lasting negative alterations to the brain and behavior. Some of these changes include effects on non-spatial learning and memory, sociability and neuroendocrine levels. Theoretically, neonatal tactile stimulation should reverse the impacts of neonatal isolation; however, this remains unknown for changes relating to learning, memory, sociability and hormones in social animals. […]

Sex-specific activity and function of hypothalamic nonapeptide neurons during nest-building in zebra finches

Vertebrate species from fish to humans engage in a complex set of preparatory behaviors referred to as nesting; yet despite its phylogenetic ubiquity, the physiological and neural mechanisms that underlie nesting are not well known. We here test the hypothesis that nesting behavior is influenced by the vasopressin–oxytocin (VP–OT) peptides, based upon the roles they […]

Functional significance of a phylogenetically widespread sexual dimorphism in vasotocin/vasopressin production

Male-biased production of arginine vasotocin/vasopressin (VT/VP) in the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm) represents one of the largest and most phylogenetically widespread sexual dimorphisms in the vertebrate brain. Although this sex difference was identified 30 years ago, the function of the dimorphism has yet to be determined. Because 1) rapid transcriptional activation […]

Early rearing experience is associated with vasopressin immunoreactivity but not reactivity to an acute non-social stressor in the prairie vole

The early life experiences of an organism have the potential to alter its developmental trajectories. Perhaps one of the most powerful influences during this period is the parent–offspring relationship. Previous work in several mammalian species has demonstrated that parental care in early life and specifically maternal behavior can influence several adult outcomes in offspring, including […]

Chimpanzee sociability is associated with vasopressin (Avpr1a) but not oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) variation

The importance of genes in regulating phenotypic variation of personality traits in humans and animals is becoming increasingly apparent in recent studies. Here we focus on variation in the vasopressin receptor gene 1a (Avpr1a) and oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and their effects on social personality traits in chimpanzees. We combine newly available genetic data on […]

Neuropeptidergic regulation of pair-bonding and stress buffering: Lessons from voles

This article is part of a Special Issue “SBN 2014”. Interpersonal attachment is a critical component of the human experience. Pair-bonding ameliorates the severity of several mental and physical diseases. Thus, a better understanding of how the central nervous system responds to and encodes social-buffering during stress is a valuable research enterprise. The prairie vole […]

Neural mechanisms of mother–infant bonding and pair bonding: Similarities, differences, and broader implications

This article is part of a Special Issue “Parental Care”. Mother–infant bonding is a characteristic of virtually all mammals. The maternal neural system may have provided the scaffold upon which other types of social bonds in mammals have been built. For example, most mammals exhibit a polygamous mating system, but monogamy and pair bonding between […]

Developmental effects of vasotocin and nonapeptide receptors on early social attachment and affiliative behavior in the zebra finch

Zebra finches demonstrate selective affiliation between juvenile offspring and parents, which, like affiliation between pair partners, is characterized by proximity, vocal communication and contact behaviors. This experiment tested the hypothesis that the nonapeptide arginine vasotocin (AVT, avian homologue of vasopressin) and nonapeptide receptors play a role prior to fledging in the development of affiliative behavior. […]