Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

Publication Title

Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences

Abstract

All mammals begin life in social groups, but for some species, social relationships persist and develop throughout the course of an individual’s life. Research in multiple rodent species provides evidence of relatively conserved circuitry underlying social behaviors and processes such as social recognition and memory, social reward, and social approach/avoidance. Species exhibiting different complex social behaviors and social systems (such as social monogamy or familiarity preferences) can be characterized in part by when and how they display specific social behaviors. Prairie and meadow voles are closely related species that exhibit similarly selective peer preferences but different mating systems, aiding direct comparison of the mechanisms underlying affiliative behavior. This chapter draws on research in voles as well as other rodents to explore the mechanisms involved in individual social behavior processes, as well as specific complex social patterns. Contrasts between vole species exemplify how the laboratory study of diverse species improves our understanding of the mechanisms underlying social behavior. We identify several additional rodent species whose interesting social structures and available ecological and behavioral field data make them good candidates for study. New techniques and integration across laboratory and field settings will provide exciting opportunities for future mechanistic work in non-model species.

Keywords

social behavior, group living, sociality, neuroendocrinology, neural circuits, model species, prairie vole, meadow vole

Volume

43

First Page

211

Last Page

238

DOI

10.1007/7854_2018_77

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Rights

Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy.

Comments

Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.