Sex differences and social context independently contribute to the development of stress-related disorders. However, less is known about how their interplay might influence behavior and physiology. Here we focused on social hierarchy status, a major component of the social environment in mice, and whether it influences the behavioral adaptation to chronic stress in a sex-specific manner. We used a high-throughput automated behavioral monitoring system to assess social dominance in same-sex group-living mice. We found that position in the social hierarchy at baseline was a significant predictor of multiple behavioral outcomes following exposure to chronic stress. Crucially, this association carried opposite consequences for the two sexes. This work demonstrates the importance of recognizing the interplay between sex and social factors and enhances our understating of how individual differences shape the stress response.
- Alon Chen
- Alon Chen
- Alon Chen
- Alon Chen
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experiments were approved by and conducted in accordance with the regulations of the local Animal Care and Use Committee (Government of Upper Bavaria, Munich, Germany), under licenses Az.: 55.2-1-54-2532-148-2012, Az.:55.2-1-54-2532-32-2016 and ROB-55.2-2532.Vet_02-18-50.
- Matthew N Hill, University of Calgary, Canada
© 2020, Karamihalev et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)
Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)
Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)
Cognitive effort is described as aversive, and people will generally avoid it when possible. This aversion to effort is believed to arise from a cost–benefit analysis of the actions available. The comparison of cognitive effort against other primary aversive experiences, however, remains relatively unexplored. Here, we offered participants choices between performing a cognitively demanding task or experiencing thermal pain. We found that cognitive effort can be traded off for physical pain and that people generally avoid exerting high levels of cognitive effort. We also used computational modelling to examine the aversive subjective value of effort and its effects on response behaviours. Applying this model to decision times revealed asymmetric effects of effort and pain, suggesting that cognitive effort may not share the same basic influences on avoidance behaviour as more primary aversive stimuli such as physical pain.
Previously, we found that in the mammalian retina, inhibitory inputs onto starburst amacrine cells (SACs) are required for robust direction selectivity of On-Off direction-selective ganglion cells (On-Off DSGCs) against noisy backgrounds (Chen et al., 2016). However, the source of the inhibitory inputs to SACs and how this inhibition confers noise resilience of DSGCs are unknown. Here, we show that when visual noise is present in the background, the motion-evoked inhibition to an On-Off DSGC is preserved by a disinhibitory motif consisting of a serially connected network of neighboring SACs presynaptic to the DSGC. This preservation of inhibition by a disinhibitory motif arises from the interaction between visually evoked network dynamics and short-term synaptic plasticity at the SAC-DSGC synapse. While the disinhibitory microcircuit is well studied for its disinhibitory function in brain circuits, our results highlight the algorithmic flexibility of this motif beyond disinhibition due to the mutual influence between network and synaptic plasticity mechanisms.