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Neurobiology of aggression

開催日 2014/9/11
時間 17:00 - 19:00
会場 Room A(Main Hall)
Chairperson(s) 岡本 仁 / Hitoshi Okamoto (理化学研究所 脳科学総合研究センター / RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan)

Neural mechanism of social hierarchy

  • S1-A-2-3
  • Hailan Hu:1 
  • 1:Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China 

Dominance hierarchy is a most robust form of social behavior readily observed in most social animals. The dominance status determines the access to resources, and profoundly impacts on animal's health, reproductive success, and survival (Sapolsky, 2005). Its inheritability and early developmental emergence suggest that dominance hierarchy is encoded by innate neural mechanisms. Human imaging (Zink et al., 2008) and animal lesion studies (Holson, 1986) have implicated the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in hierarchy-related behaviors. However, the neural mechanisms that determine the social hierarchy status are virtually unknown.

In a recent work (1), we explored the neural circuitry for dominance hierarchy by synaptic perturbation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a candidate brain region implicated extensively in social cognition. We established that social rank in mice is transitive, relatively stable, and highly correlated among different behavioral measures. Furthermore, the hierarchical status of mice could be changed from dominant to subordinate, or vice versa, by viral manipulation of the synaptic strength in mPFC. In this meeting, we will report our latest progress on using optogenetics to control the dominance rank in mice.

1. Wang, F, Zhu, J, Zhu, H, Zhang, Q, Lin, Z, Hu, H (2011) Bidirectional control of social hierarchy by synaptic efficacy in medial prefrontal cortex. Science,334:693-697.

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