Meeting Abstract

S6-10  Friday, Jan. 6 14:30 - 15:00  Nonapeptides, Vocal Communication, and Social Relationships TOMASZYCKI, M.L.*; ATCHLEY, D.; TOMASZYCKI, Michelle; Lafayette College; Wayne State University tomaszym@lafayette.edu

Social relationships are complex, involving individual recognition and the production and comprehension of many social cues that guide the close coordination of behavior between two or more individuals. The nonapeptides oxytocin and vasopressin are widely believed to regulate social relationships. These findings come largely from prairie voles, in which nonapeptide receptors in olfactory neural circuits drive pair bonding. This research is assumed to apply to all species. However, qualitative evidence at first suggests that nonapeptide receptor distributions are very different between monogamous rodents (olfactory species) and monogamous birds (vocal/auditory species). Previous reviews have offered two competing hypotheses. The work of Sarah Newman has implicated a common neural network across species, the Social Behavior Network. In contrast, others have suggested that there are signal modality-specific networks that regulate social behavior. Our research focuses on evaluating these two competing hypotheses in the zebra finch, a species that relies heavily on vocal/auditory signals for communication, specifically the neural circuits underlying singing in males and song perception in females. We have demonstrated that the quality of vocal interactions is highly important for the formation of long-term monogamous bonds in zebra finches. Additionally, we have shown that social bonding behaviors are not only correlated with activation of nonapeptide receptors in vocal and auditory circuits, but also involve regions of the common Social Behavior Network. Thus, we highlight converging mechanisms of social relationships and also point to the importance of studying multiple species to understand mechanisms of behavior.