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Journal Article

Citation

Holman SD, Hutchison JB. Aggressive Behav. 1994; 20(3): 223-234.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1994, International Society for Research on Aggression, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

In Mongolian gerbil males, a reliable asymmetric relationship has been discovered between a stereotyped ultrasonic vocalization and the volume of a discrete nucleus within the preoptic-anterior hypothalamic area, the sexually dimorphic area, pars compacta (SDApc). The steroid-sensitive ultrasonic, emitted at high levels during courtship interactions, is associated with the absence of aggressive encounters and appears to be necessary for the formation and maintenance of pair-bonds with females. Interactions between unfamiliar, non-pair-bonded adult male and estrous female gerbils result in male aggression, reduction of male ultrasonic calling, and disruption of normal female dart-male follow sociosexual sequences. Castration further reduces ultrasonic calling, inhibits normal sociosexual sequences, and increases aggression in interactions between unfamiliar compared to pair-bonded individuals. Both brain structure and lateralization of vocal function in males depend on the action of sex steroids during sexual differentiation and in adulthood. Thus, the gerbil provides a new model to study steroid-dependent lateralization of brain mechanisms of vocal behavior mediating aggressive-sexual relationships.

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