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Hormones and Behavior 4644-Autmn 2017

Exam 3 Study Guide

Parental Behavior
 Define parental behavior. What are the different types of parental behavior? What type
of parental care is most common in mammals? Why parental behavior?
 What are the differences among altricial, precocial and semiprecocial offspring? Be able
to provide examples of each.
 What are the components of rat maternal behavior during gestation, parturition, after
 What is placentophagia? What are hypotheses as to why animals engage in this
 What hormones regulate the immediate onset of maternal care at parturition (birth)?
How do concentrations of these hormones change across gestation (pregnancy) and at
 What are two approaches that have been used to show that hormones regulate the
onset of maternal behavior?
 What is maternal sensitization or concaveation?
 How long does it take the following groups to behave maternally when presented with
foster pups: new mother, late pregnant female, virgin female, virgin female transfused
with blood of new mother, OVX virgin female treated with a hormonal regimen that
mimics changes seen during late pregnancy, pregnant rat hysterectomized on days 16-
19 of pregnancy, female rat with previous maternal experience?
 Be able to explain why and how hysterectomy induces maternal behavior.
 Does oxytocin act as a hormone or neurohormone to: facilitate maternal behavior?
uterine contractions? milk ejection?
 How do hormones promote maternal behavior?
 Is the maintenance of maternal behavior dependent on hormones? What is the
evidence? If not, what maintains maternal behavior?
 Understand the neural circuitry of maternal behavior.
 What about pups do adult nulliparous rats find aversive? How can this aversion be
 What is maternal memory? What does it reveal about the hormonal regulation of
maternal behavior?
 How has it been shown that maternal care affects the maternal care of female
offspring? Are these effects due to genetic/prenatal factors or differences in postpartum
maternal care? How has this been shown? What are the accompanying brain changes?
 What is the hormonal profile of pregnancy in humans?
 Why is studying hormonal correlates of parental care in humans difficult?
 What hormonal changes have been associated with human maternal behavior and how
are these hormonal changes thought to promote maternal behavior?
 What genetic factors have been linked to individual differences in human maternal are?

 What are the 4 major systems and the brain regions within those system that fMRI
studies have implicated in maternal caregiving?
 Among mammals, what makes it more likely that a male will care for his offspring?
 In California mice fathers:
- What parental behaviors do they display?
- What is the relationship between prolactin and paternal behavior?
- What is the relationship between testosterone and paternal behavior? Is this
common or unusual for mammalian paternal care?
- What brain region is part of the neural circuitry underlying paternal
 What hormonal changes have been associated with human paternal behavior? How are
the hormonal changes father thought to promote paternal care? What do fMRI studies
suggest about the neural basis of human paternal care?
 What did the study looking at the relationship between paternal care and testicle size

Social Behavior
 What is social behavior? What are the general categories can social behavior be divided
 What are the costs vs benefits of group living?
 Describe the seasonal change in the social organization of female meadow voles. Why
does this happen?
 Affiliation is thought to have evolved from what other behaviors? What hormone may
be involved? Describe the fMRI study in humans that support this.
 What is different about prairie vs meadow and montane voles? How do they differ in
terms of the OTR and V1aR?
 What is partner preference? Which species of voles form partner preferences? What
effect does mating have on partner preference? How can partner preference be tested
in the lab? What is the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in partner preference?
 What is the role of dopamine in partner preference/pair-bond formation in females and
males? What is the evidence? What dopamine receptor is involved? What does
dopamine interact with in females vs males to regulate partner preference? What is the
 What is the role of dopamine in pair bond maintenance? What is the evidence? What
dopamine receptor is involved? How has this receptor been linked to meadow voles?
 What role does CORT play in partner preference? What role does the opioid system
 What does the Schneiderman et al 2012 study suggest about the involvement of
oxytocin in the process of partner attachment in humans? What are two ways by which
oxytocin might contribute to romantic bonds in humans? What is the evidence that
oxytocin also modulates social bonds in non-reproductive contexts?
 What is the link between oxytocin and autism?

 What is aggression? What are some different types of aggression? How can aggression
be evoked in the lab?
 When does aggression arise?
 Describe seasonal changes in aggression in red deer and why it occurs. How do seasonal
changes in aggression correlate with levels of testosterone and antler growth? How do
hormones affect aggression in red deer? What are the effects of castration in red deer?
What are the effects of testosterone implantation in summer and winter?
 What allows group living in winter in some rodents and why is it beneficial? What
hormone mediates this? What are two other possible patterns between testosterone
and aggression as they relate to seasonal changes in aggression in rodents?
 In what season do we expect humans to behave more aggressively? What hormones
does this correlate with?
 Why does aggression increase at puberty? How might an increase in aggression at
puberty be adaptive?
 What are the two strategies primates use to join a new group during the pubertal
period? What are the hormonal and behavioral factors associated with each of these
 Explain the sex difference in aggression. What are 3 possible explanation for this
difference? Understand how we know that aggression is both organized and activated in
rodents. Is puberty another period in which hormones organize aggressive behavior?
 How is testosterone affected by winning vs losing? Is direct competition necessary?
Does it matter if the winner wins by a lot or a little? Does it matter if the outcome is due
to effort or chance? What does this tell us about hormone-behavior relationships?
 What is the relationship between testosterone and anti-social behavior in male
prisoners? Female prisoners?
 Describe the winner effect seen in California mice. Is there any evidence for similar
effect in humans?
 What is the aggression circuit in rodents? Primates?

 What is homeostasis? Be able to describe the analogy of a thermostat as a homeostatic
 How do endotherms regulate temperature? How do ectotherms regulate temperature?
 How does body temp change when we are ill and why? How do iguanas regulate their
body temp when they are ill? What is the adaptive consequence?
 What are thermoeceptors? Where are they found?
 What area of the brain controls thermoregulation? What input does it receive? What
effectors do they regulate? Be able to describe the various responses to high and low
 What are the two types of thirst, what are they caused by, and how are they detected
(know the types of receptors and where they are found)? What hormone(s) does each
type of thirst stimulate the secretion of and what effects do they have? What quenches
each type of thirst?

 What is diabetes insipidus? What are its causes, symptoms and treatment? What animal
model mimics this disorder?
 What hormone maintains physiological homeostasis of sodium balance? How?
 What happens to a rat if the adrenal glands are removed? Why? What can prevent this?
What is salt intake like before and after adrenalectomy? How is this an example of
behavioral homeostasis? How is this different in Syrian hamsters? Does this prove that
hamsters are less intelligent than rats? Why or why not?
 Are herbivores adapted to retain or excrete sodium? Why? Are carnivores adapted to
retain or excrete sodium? Why?
 What did the Blair West et al. (1968) study demonstrate? Be able to describe the
differences between snowy mountain rabbits and desert rabbits.
 What are the two phases of energy utilization and storage after a meal? What occurs
during each? What hormone promotes energy storage? How?
 In a fasting state, what hormone promotes the release of stored energy? How?
 What endocrine gland releases the hormones involved in energy storage and release?
Know the specific cell types.
 Know the different causes of type I and type II diabetes as well as the population most
affected and treatments. What is the main consequence of both types? What are the
 What is the “dual-center” hypothesis? Is it accurate?
 What hormones that we discussed in class act as signals that convey info about the
body’s energy reserves? What brain regions do these signals act on? In this brain region,
what are the two signaling molecules produced by the feeding stimulatory circuit? What
are the two signaling molecules produced by the feeding inhibitory circuit? Where do
these circuits project? What effect do high levels of these hormones have on the
stimulatory pathway and inhibitory pathway? What effect do low levels of this hormone
have on the stimulatory pathway and inhibitory pathway?
 What effect does ghrelin have on feeding? How?
 What role does the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) play in hunger and satiety?
 Why do humans have a tendency to accumulate excess energy? What does “The Biggest
Loser” study tell us about why it is so difficult to keep weight off? What are some
approaches being investigated to treat obesity or that are being used currently?
 Can leptin be used to treat obesity? Why or why not?

Biological Rhythms
 What are the key components of biological rhythms? Over what time scale (s) does do
biological rhythms vary?
 What are isolations experiments? What do they determine? Be able to describe the
experiment and findings of Jean Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan and why they were
 What are 3 types of evidence that biological clocks are endogenous and not driven by
the environment?

 What is a free running rhythm? What does it represent? What is entrainment? What is a
 What are 4 types of biological rhythms that are synchronized with ENVIRONMENTAL
cues? What are their entrained period lengths (i.e. when environmental cues are
present)? What are their free-running period lengths (i.e. when animals are isolated
from their respective environmental cues)?
 What is an important experimental technique used in the study of circadian rhythms in
small mammals like hamsters?
 What is an important environmental time cue for hamsters and most other species?
 If a hamster is housed in conditions where lights are off for 12 hours, then on for 12
hours, when will the hamster run? What happens if the environmental light-dark cycles
are phase shifted (e.g. lights are turned off 4 hours later)? If the hamster is housed in
constant dim light, what happens? What does this tell us about circadian rhythms?
 What happens to the sleep wake cycle of humans placed in a dark cave with no external
cues? What does this suggest?
 Be able to give example of endogenous circatidal, circaleuner and circannual rhythms.
 What are two types of biological rhythms that persist in constant conditions and do not
correspond to any known geophysical cues? How often do they occur? Be able to
provide examples of each.
 What is the usefulness of biological clocks?
 What are the six general characteristics of biological clocks and rhythms?
 Where is the master circadian clock found in mammals, what is the evidence?
 How does the master clock work?
 How is the mammalian clock entrained by external cues? How is this different from
other vertebrates like amphibian and birds?
 Be able to describe the major input and output pathways to and from the master clock
in mammals.
 Where is melatonin secreted from? When is it secreted? What does it play a role in? Is
melatonin an effective treatment for anything? What effect does light at night have on
melatonin? What are the consequences of exposure to light at night?
 What is photoperiodism? What role does melatonin play in photoperiodism? What
information does this provide an animal?