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Endocrine mechanisms, behavioral phenotypes and plasticity: known relationships and open questions.

Overview of attention for article published in Frontiers in Zoology, January 2015
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Title
Endocrine mechanisms, behavioral phenotypes and plasticity: known relationships and open questions.
Published in
Frontiers in Zoology, January 2015
DOI 10.1186/1742-9994-12-s1-s7
Pubmed ID
Authors

Hau, Michaela, Goymann, Wolfgang

Abstract

Behavior of wild vertebrate individuals can vary in response to environmental or social factors. Such within-individual behavioral variation is often mediated by hormonal mechanisms. Hormones also serve as a basis for among-individual variations in behavior including animal personalities and the degree of responsiveness to environmental and social stimuli. How do relationships between hormones and behavioral traits evolve to produce such behavioral diversity within and among individuals? Answering questions about evolutionary processes generating among-individual variation requires characterizing how specific hormones are related to variation in specific behavioral traits, whether observed hormonal variation is related to individual fitness and, whether hormonal traits are consistent (repeatable) aspects of an individual's phenotype. With respect to within-individual variation, we need to improve our insight into the nature of the quantitative relationships between hormones and the traits they regulate, which in turn will determine how they may mediate behavioral plasticity of individuals. To address these questions, we review the actions of two steroid hormones, corticosterone and testosterone, in mediating changes in vertebrate behavior, focusing primarily on birds. In the first part, we concentrate on among-individual variation and present examples for how variation in corticosterone concentrations can relate to behaviors such as exploration of novel environments and parental care. We then review studies on correlations between corticosterone variation and fitness, and on the repeatability over time of corticosterone concentrations. At the end of this section, we suggest that further progress in our understanding of evolutionary patterns in the hormonal regulation of behavior may require, as one major tool, reaction norm approaches to characterize hormonal phenotypes as well as their responses to environments. In the second part, we discuss types of quantitative relationships between hormones and behavioral traits within individuals, using testosterone as an example. We review conceptual models for testosterone-behavior relationships and discuss the relevance of these models for within-individual plasticity in behavior. Next, we discuss approaches for testing the nature of quantitative relationships between testosterone and behavior, concluding that again reaction norm approaches might be a fruitful way forward. We propose that an integration of new tools, especially of reaction norm approaches into the field of behavioral endocrinology will allow us to make significant progress in our understanding of the mechanisms, the functional implications and the evolution of hormone-behavior relationships that mediate variation both within and among individuals. This knowledge will be crucial in light of already ongoing habitat alterations due to global change, as it will allow us to evaluate the mechanisms as well as the capacity of wild populations to adjust hormonally-mediated behaviors to altered environmental conditions.

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 188 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 1%
Switzerland 2 1%
Germany 1 <1%
Argentina 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Unknown 181 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 46 24%
Researcher 31 16%
Student > Bachelor 24 13%
Student > Master 23 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 13 7%
Other 33 18%
Unknown 18 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 117 62%
Environmental Science 19 10%
Psychology 5 3%
Neuroscience 4 2%
Social Sciences 3 2%
Other 11 6%
Unknown 29 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 28 January 2016.
All research outputs
#5,287,904
of 7,059,888 outputs
Outputs from Frontiers in Zoology
#286
of 338 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#219,730
of 319,093 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Frontiers in Zoology
#18
of 19 outputs
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So far Altmetric has tracked 338 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 18.9. This one is in the 6th percentile – i.e., 6% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
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We're also able to compare this research output to 19 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 5th percentile – i.e., 5% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.