Behavioral and neuroendocrine correlates of displaced aggression in trout

Øverli, Øyvind; Korzan, Wayne J.; Larson, Earl T.; Winberg, Svante; Lepage, Olivier; Pottinger, Tom G.; Renner, Kenneth J.; Summers, Cliff H.. 2004 Behavioral and neuroendocrine correlates of displaced aggression in trout. Hormones and Behavior, 45 (5). 324-329.

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In humans and other primates, violent actions performed by victims of aggression are often directed toward an individual or object that is not the original source of provocation. This psychological phenomenon is often referred to as displaced aggression. We demonstrate that displaced aggression is either rooted in evolutionarily conserved behavioral and neuroendocrine mechanisms, or represent a convergent pattern that has arisen independently in fish and mammals. Rainbow trout that briefly encountered large, aggressive fish reacted with increased aggression towards smaller individuals. There was a strong negative correlation between received aggression and behavioral change: Individuals subjected to intense aggression were subdued, while moderate assaults induced strong agitation. Patterns of forebrain serotonin turnover and plasma cortisol suggest that the presence of socially subordinate fish had an inhibitory effect on neuroendocrine stress responses. Thus, subordinate individuals may serve as stress reducing means of aggressive outlet, and displaced aggression towards such individuals appears to be a behavioral stress coping strategy in fishes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Water
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Environmental Chemistry & Pollution
ISSN: 0018-506X
Additional Keywords: aggression, cortisol, displacement behavior, serotonin, stress, telencephalon, rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 15 Jun 2015 10:29 +0 (UTC)

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