Social behaviour

  • Article
    | Open Access

    There is concern about potential long-term effects of antibiotics on children’s health. Here Leclercqet al. show, in mice, that low doses of penicillin during late pregnancy and early life induce lasting effects on the offspring, including alterations in gut microbiota, brain cytokine levels and behaviour.

    • Sophie Leclercq
    • , Firoz M. Mian
    •  & John Bienenstock
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Parental care involves shifts in numerous behaviours related to mating, feeding, aggression and social interaction. Here, the authors show that, in burying beetles, parenting is associated with increased levels of neuropeptides known to mediate these precursor behaviours, suggesting co-option of existing genetic pathways.

    • Christopher B. Cunningham
    • , Majors J. Badgett
    •  & Allen J. Moore
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rett syndrome is associated with impaired synaptic connectivity beginning in early development. Here the authors show in female mice heterozygous forMecp2, a model of Rett syndrome, that during adulthood, auditory cortex plasticity associated with a learned maternal behaviour is also impaired.

    • Keerthi Krishnan
    • , Billy Y. B. Lau
    •  & Stephen D. Shea
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The stress-reducing effects of social bonds have been hypothesized to accrue either during stressful events or across daily affiliations. Here, Wittiget al. show that the presence of social partners reduces levels of stress hormones in wild chimpanzees beyond stressful contexts, supporting the latter hypothesis.

    • Roman M. Wittig
    • , Catherine Crockford
    •  & Klaus Zuberbühler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous studies have disagreed over whether efficient or inefficient network structures should be more effective in promoting group performance. Here, Barkoczi and Galesic demonstrate that which structure is superior depends on the social learning strategy used by individuals in the network.

    • Daniel Barkoczi
    •  & Mirta Galesic
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The accessory olfactory system (AOS) processes social chemosensory information and guides behaviors that are important for survival and reproduction in mammals. Here the authors report that mouse feces are a source of AOS neuronal activity and identify unconjugated bile acids in feces as a class of natural AOS ligands.

    • Wayne I. Doyle
    • , Jordan A. Dinser
    •  & Julian P. Meeks
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Animals exhibit a number of complex behaviours following stressful events, although the underlying circuitry is undetermined. Here, the authors use optogenetic targeting to identify a role for corticotrophin releasing hormone cells in the paraventricular nucleus in regulating such behavioural responses to acute stress.

    • Tamás Füzesi
    • , Nuria Daviu
    •  & Jaideep S. Bains
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Comparing oneself to others is inherently human but exactly how social comparison affects one's emotional state is unclear. Here the authors demonstrate that unequal social outcomes decrease happiness and these emotional impacts are proportional to individual levels of generosity.

    • Robb B. Rutledge
    • , Archy O. de Berker
    •  & Raymond J. Dolan
  • Article |

    There is growing evidence that the intestinal microbiota can affect host behaviour. Here, De Palma et al. show in mice that early-life stress (maternal separation) induces changes in host physiology that alter the gut microbiota, which then triggers anxiety-like and depression-like behaviour later in life.

    • G. De Palma
    • , P. Blennerhassett
    •  & P. Bercik
  • Article
    | Open Access

    FUS is an RNA/DNA-binding protein involved in gene expression regulation and associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia (FTLD) but the disease-causing mechanisms are unclear. Here the authors show that FUS regulates the stability of GluA1mRNA and dendritic maturation and plays a role in FTLD-associated behaviours.

    • Tsuyoshi Udagawa
    • , Yusuke Fujioka
    •  & Gen Sobue
  • Article |

    Punishment is a common response to the violation of what is perceived to be fair. Using a modified version of a well-studied ultimatum game, FeldmanHall et al.show that in fact, when presented with alternative options, people prefer not to punish unjust acts, unless the acts are directed at another person.

    • Oriel FeldmanHall
    • , Peter Sokol-Hessner
    •  & Elizabeth A. Phelps
  • Article |

    Mice are important animal models for human disease research, however artificially selected laboratory mice may be unsuitable for studies of adaptive behavioural response. Here, the authors backcross wild mice with mutant laboratory mice and uncover behavioural gene functions unique to wild mice, thereby offering an improved model for studying human traits.

    • Lea Chalfin
    • , Molly Dayan
    •  & Tali Kimchi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The conversion of testosterone into oestrogen in the brain is implicated in male aggressive behaviour. Ubuka et al.show that gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone inhibits male aggression by increasing oestrogen synthesis in the brain beyond its optimum concentration for the expression of aggressive behaviour.

    • Takayoshi Ubuka
    • , Shogo Haraguchi
    •  & Kazuyoshi Tsutsui