The effects of social experience on aggressive behavior in the green anolelizard (Anolis carolinensis)

Citation
Ej. Yang et al., The effects of social experience on aggressive behavior in the green anolelizard (Anolis carolinensis), ETHOLOGY, 107(9), 2001, pp. 777-793
Citations number
71
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
107
Issue
9
Year of publication
2001
Pages
777 - 793
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200109)107:9<777:TEOSEO>2.0.ZU;2-7
Abstract
To understand how context-specific aggression emerges from past experience, we examined how consecutive aggressive encounters influence aggressive beh avior and stress responses of male green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis ). Animals were shown a video clip featuring an aggressively displaying con specific male, which provoked aggressive responding, while control animals viewed a neutral video. After 5 d of interaction with the videos, both the subject and control groups were presented with a live conspecific. As a non -invasive assay of stress responses, we measured changes in body color and eyespot darkness, two features known to be strongly correlated with titers of stress hormones. Our results demonstrate that experience increased aggre ssion in male anoles, but that increases in aggression to a repeated stimul us were transient. Tests with a novel conspecific indicate that the experie nced animals remained aggressive when presented with novel stimuli. Althoug h there were differences in the morphological indicators of the stress resp onse between experimental and control groups during video presentations, th ere were no differences when presented with novel conspecifics. These data indicate that experience-dependent differences were not mediated by differe nces in the 'stressfulness' of aggressive interaction, as thought to be the case for animals in chronic subordinate/dominant dyads. We suggest that ha bituation and reinforcement interact to promote aggressive responding and t o restrict it to novel individuals. Such context specificity is a hallmark of natural patterns of aggression in territorial species.