ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0332.v3
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: fear; anxiety; aversive brain system; comparative neuroanatomy; teleost fish
Online: 8 October 2018 (09:40:20 CEST)
Defensive behavior is a function of specific survival circuits, the “aversive brain system”, that are thought to be conserved across vertebrates, and involve threat detection and the organization of defensive responses to reduce or eliminate threat. In mammals, these circuits involve amygdalar and hypothalamic subnuclei and midbrain circuits. The increased interest in teleost fishes as model organisms in neuroscience created a demand to understand which brain circuits are involved in defensive behavior. Telencephalic and habenular circuits represent a “forebrain circuit” for threat processing and organization of responses, being important to mounting appropriate coping responses. Specific hypothalamic circuits organize neuroendocrine and neurovegetative outputs, but are the less well-studied in fish. A “midbrain circuit” is represented by projections to interneurons in the optic tectum which mediate fast escape responses via projections to the central gray and/or the brainstem escape network. Threatening stimuli (especially visual stimuli) can bypass the “high road” and directly activate this system, initiating escape responses. Increased attention to these circuits in an evolutionary framework is still needed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0321.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: neuroendocrinology; social behaviour network; mesolimbic reward system; aversive behaviour network
Online: 19 June 2018 (10:09:33 CEST)
Animal-focused research has been crucial for scientific advancement however, in this matter, rodents are still taking a starring role. Coming out from merely being supportive of evidence found in rodents, the use of fish models has slowly taken a more central role and expanded its overall contributions in areas such as social sciences, evolution, physiology, and recently in translational medical research. In neurosciences, zebrafish has been widely adopted, contributing to our understanding of the genetic control of brain processes, and the effects of pharmacological manipulations. However, discussion continues regarding the paradox of function versus structure, when fish and mammals are compared, and on the potentially evolutionarily conserved nature of behaviour across fish species. From the behavioural stand point we explored aversive/stress and social behaviour in selected fish models, and refer to the extensive contributions of stress and monoaminergic systems. We suggest that, in spite of marked neuroanatomical differences between fish and mammals, stress and sociality are conserved at the behavioural and molecular levels. We also suggest that stress and sociality are mediated by monoamines in predictable and non-trivial ways, and that monoamines could “bridge” the relationship between stress and social behaviour. To reconcile the level of divergence with the level of similarity, we need neuroanatomical, pharmacological, behavioural, and ecological studies conducted in the laboratory and in nature. These areas need to add to each other to enhance our understanding of fish behaviour and ultimately how this all may translate to better model systems for translational studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0115.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: ultrasonic vocalization; social buffering; 50-kHz calls; 22-kHz calls; distress; emotional contagion; fear contagion; aversive state; communication
Online: 6 May 2021 (16:32:04 CEST)
Abstract: Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) are one of the evolutionarily oldest forms of animal communication. In order to study the communication architecture in an aversive social situation, we used a behavioral model in which one animal, the observer, is witnessing as his cagemate, the demonstrator, is experiencing a series of mild electrical foot-shocks (aversive stimuli). We studied the effect of foot-shocks experience in the observer and the influence of a warning sound (emit-ted shortly before the shock is applied) on USVs communication. These experiments revealed that such a warning seems to increase the arousal level, which differentiates the responses depending on previous experience. It can be identified by the emission of characteristic, short 22-kHz calls, of a duration below 100 ms. Furthermore, by analyzing temporally overlapping USVs, we found that in ‘Warned’ pairs with a naive observer, 22-kHz were mixed with 50-kHz calls. This fact, combined with a high fraction of very high-pitched 50-kHz calls (over 75-kHz), suggests the presence of the phenomenon of social buffering. On the other hand, in ‘Warned’ pairs with an experienced observer, pure 22-kHz overlaps were mostly found, signifying possible fear contagion with dis-tress sharing. Hence the importance of differentiating 22-kHz calls to long and short.