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This volume presents the proceedings of "Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 11", hosted by the University of Liverpool and held July 25 - 28, at the University .
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In other experiments, this hypothesis was investigated directly. Scent marks that differed by 24 h in age were placed adjacent to each other. Subjects, after investigating these marks, did not prefer 1 donor Johnston et al. Thus, freshness of the scent, by itself, was not sufficient for differential responses to 2 individuals in either golden hamsters or meadow voles; for house mice, however, Rich and Hurst suggest that freshness is important in evaluation of potential mates. A 2nd way that animals might evaluate overmarks is to determine which individual's scent covers the most area or which individual has the greatest number or density of scent marks.

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On a functional level, placing more marks in an area would presumably reflect vigor. Experiments with meadow voles and golden hamsters, however, do not support this hypothesis Ferkin et al. For example, female meadow voles were allowed to investigate the home cage of a male that had been briefly investigated and marked by a 2nd male. Females preferred whole-body odors of this intruder male over the home-cage male, despite the probability that the home-cage male had many more marks and covered a greater area with his marks Johnston et al.

Again, however, house mice are different. Female mice preferred a male whose territory was exclusively marked by the owner compared to a male whose territory contained marks of another male as well as those of the owner Rich and Hurst A 3rd possibility is that animals can determine the position of the scents of 2 individuals i.


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This hypothesis has been supported in a number of experiments Cohen et al. In the most dramatic case, we rubbed the anogenital scent of a male vole on a glass microscope slide so that it covered a large portion of the slide. We then placed a small spot of scent of a 2nd vole in the center of the slide, on top of the scent of the 1st vole Fig. After females were exposed to this simulated overmark, they preferred the whole-body odors of the top-scent individual.

If, however, we left a clean spot in the middle of the slide when we deposited the 1st vole's scent and then placed the 2nd male's scent on this clean spot, so that there was no scent overlap Fig. This experiment shows that female voles can determine when there is an overmark, as opposed to 2 closely adjacent scents, and the relative position top or bottom of the 2 individuals' scents.


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Thus, voles are exquisitely sensitive to the overlap of 2 individuals' scent marks. The females' preference for the top-scent male suggests that this information might influence their choice of mates Johnston et al. On the left, scent of male 2 was deposited on top of that of male 1; on the right, scent of male 1 was deposited on a clean portion of the plate, surrounded by the scent of male 1. Data is reorganized and regraphed from Johnston et al. Experiments in golden hamsters also demonstrate this ability to determine which scent is on top or bottom Johnston ; Johnston and Bhorade In addition, hamsters might have yet another mechanism to determine relative position; they might be able to use the geometry of 2 linear scents in an overmark to determine which is on top.

That is, by analogy with visual occlusion of 1 object by another, the top scent should be a continuous streak, whereas the bottom streak will be interrupted by the top scent. We tested this hypothesis by placing the scent mark of 1 individual in a continuous streak and the scent of another individual at a right angle to this such that it came up to the mark of the 1st individual but stopped short by 1—2 mm.

After exposure to this apparent over-mark, hamsters preferentially remembered the continuous scent, as if it were on top Cohen et al.

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Thus, hamsters can form a finegrained spatial representation of the location of individuals' marks to determine which is the top scent. Experiments with meadow voles, golden hamsters, and house mice reveal previously unsuspected abilities of animals to determine the relationship between scents of individuals in an overmark. These experiments also raise numerous additional questions about the perception, production, and functions of scent overmarking. It is likely that functions of overmarking vary greatly across species and, thus, that mechanisms underlying the causation of marking and the perception of overmarks also might vary.

For example, prairie voles are monogamous and live in family units, whereas meadow voles are polygynous, with females defending small territories against other females and males having large home ranges that overlap ranges of other males and territories of several females. There are indications that overmarking behavior and responses to overmarks differ between these 2 species Ferkin ; Ferkin et al. Studies with house mice suggest that they saturate their environment with urine marks Hurst Although in some situations they do not display much overmarking Hurst , , in other situations they do overmark, but the extent of overmarking depends not only on the sex of the individuals but also their familiarity Hurst a , b , c.

Studies of scent overmarking have revealed that a number of species of rodents analyze and understand complexities in the olfactory environment that were not even imagined by naturalists or scientists a few years ago. Further comparative investigations of the functions and mechanisms of scent overmarking are likely to be extremely rewarding, especially if laboratory and field studies can be combined. Among mammals, studies of rodents have provided the majority of fundamental insights into chemical communication and the physiological mechanisms underlying such communication.

With the recent publication of the complete mouse genome, research on the sense of smell is likely to be concentrated on it and closely related species of rodents in the near future. This provides an exciting opportunity to learn more about chemical, behavioral, endocrine, and ecological levels of analysis so that a fully integrated picture can be obtained. Lacey for inviting me to participate in the symposium and for comments on the manuscript, and J. Johnston for help with the manuscript and figures. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Types of Chemical Signals. Complexity of Odors and Signals in Mammals. Current Topics in Chemical Communication in Rodents. Chemical Identification of the Signals. Difficulties in Bioassays of Mammalian Pheromones. Chemical Communication in Rodents: Abstract In many species of rodents, sense of smell is the most important source of information about the social and nonsocial world.

View large Download slide. The role of protein binding in chemical communication: Interpretation and explanation in the study of animal behavior. Interpretation, intentionality and communication. Patterns of expression of the immediate-early gene egr-1 in the accessory olfactory bulb of female mice exposed to pheromonal constituents of male urine.

How golden hamsters Mesocricetus auratus discriminate top from bottom flank scents in over-marks. Deciphering the recognition signature within the cuticular chemical profile of paper wasps. The response of individuals to over-marks of conspecifics differs between two species of microtine rodents. What kind of information do meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus , use to distinguish between the top and bottom scent of an overmark? Roles of gonadal hormones in control of five sexually attractive odors of meadow voles Microtus pennsylvanicus. Meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus , use multiple sources of scent for sex recognition.

Effects of pregnancy, lactation, and post-partum oestrus on odour signals and the attraction to odours in female meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus. Meadow voles and prairie voles differ in the length of time they prefer the top-scent donor of an over-mark. Seasonal changes in scents and responses to them in meadow voles: Attractiveness of male odors to females varies directly with plasma testosterone concentration in meadow voles.

Infantile experience with suckling odors determines adult sexual behavior in male rats. Kin recognition pheromones in social wasps: A mechanism for individual recognition by odour in Herpestes auropunctatus Carnivora: The discrimination of different degrees of relatedness in the rat: Kin recognition by phenotype matching in female Belding's ground squirrels. Cuticular hydrocarbons of Reticulitermes virginicus Banks and their role as potential species-and caste-recognition cues. The functions of urine marking in a free-living population of house mice, Mus domesticus Rutty. The complex network of olfactory communication in populations of wild house mice, Mus domesticus Rutty: Urine marking in populations of wild house mice Mus domesticus Rutty.

Communication between the sexes. Induction of c-fos in hamster accessory olfactory bulbs by natural and cloned aphrodisin. Puberty-affecting synthetic analogs of urinary chemosignals in the house mouse, Mus domesticus. Inhibition of sexual maturation in juvenile female and male mice by a chemosignal of female origin.

Socio-sexual olfactory preference in female mice: Scent marking by male hamsters. Effects of odors and social encounters. Behavior in a semi-natural environment. The causation of two scent marking behaviour patterns in female golden hamsters. Chemical communication in golden hamsters: Memory for individual scent in hamsters Mesocricetus auratus as assessed by habituation methods. Chemical communication and pheromones: Perception of scent over-marks: Individual scent signatures in golden hamsters: Scent counter-marking by male meadow voles: Alterations of male sexual behavior by learned aversions to hamster vaginal secretion.

Odors providing sexual information in Djungarian hamsters: Characteristics of the human sense of smell when processing odor mixtures. Developmental changes in olfactory bulb projections revealed by degeneration argyrophilia. Effects of exposure to vaginal odor and receptive females on plasma testosterone in the male hamster.

Ontogeny of nestmate recognition cues in the red carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. Pheromones in black-tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus columbianus. Chemistry of rodent pheromones: A unique urinary constituent, 6-hydroxymethylheptanone, is a pheromone that accelerates puberty in female mice. Recent biochemical insights into puberty acceleration, estrus induction and puberty delay in the house mouse.

Responses of the male golden hamster to mixtures of odorants identified from vaginal discharge. Pheromones of hamster vaginal discharge: Major histocompatibility complex variation associated with juvenile survival and parasite resistance in a large unmanaged ungulate population Ovis aries L. Pheromonal effects of Harderian gland homogenates on aggressive behaviour in the hamster. The attractiveness of Harderian gland smears to sexually naive and experienced male golden hamsters.

The evolution of mating preferences and major histocompatibility complex genes. How many major urinary proteins are produced by the house mouse, Mus domesticus? A reevaluation of dimethyl disulfide as a sex attractant in golden hamsters. The role of the hippocampal system in social odor discrimination and scent-marking in female golden hamsters Mesocricetus auratus. Socially-stimulated androgen surges in male hamsters: Hormonal and behavioral responses of male hamsters to females and female odors: Mutual cross-adaptation of the volatile steroid androstenone and a non-steroid functional analog.

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Underlying bases of recognition signatures in spiny mice, Acomys cahirinus. Mating patterns in seminatural populations of mice influenced by MHC genotype. The competing countermarks hypothesis: Axons of olfactory receptor cells of transsexually grafted antennae induce development of sexually dimorphic glomeruli in Manduca sexta. Airborne aphrodisiac odor from estrous rats: Trans-sexually grafted antennae alter pheromone-directed behavior in a moth. The chemistry of vomeronasally detected pheromones: Conspecific and heterospecific proteins related to aphrodisin lack aphrodisiac activity in male hamsters.

Purification and analysis of a proteinaceous aphrodisiac pheromone from hamster vaginal discharge. Female marmoset monkeys Callithrix jaccus can be identified from the chemical composition of their scent marks.

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Differing behavioral and endocrinological effects of two female sex pheromones on male goldfish. Comparative developmental studies on the fine structure of the vomeronasal sensory and the olfactory epithelia in the golden hamster. Social interaction is necessary for discrimination between and memory for odours of close relatives in golden hamsters. Body odour preferences in men and women: Response of prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster Rodentia; Arvicolidae , to scent over-marks of two same-sex conspecifics: Field studies of chemical signaling: Distinctive odors governed by the major histocompatibility locus of the mouse.

The major histocompatibility complex as a source of odors imparting individuality among mice. Control of mating preferences in mice by genes in the major histocompatibility complex. Guide of notion, quantity III: Biology of Perceptual platforms experiences the literature at the organic elements of human conception, with emphasis on perceptual platforms and components of sensory body structure.


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  • This quantity is equipped into 19 chapters and starts off with a dialogue of strength transduction, detection, and discrimination, in addition to the homes of neurons on my own and as conjoined in nets. Home Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 9: February 16, Anatomy By admin 0 Comments. The reader can locate the following either unique effects received within the laboratory or box stories and entire studies summarizing a long time of study.

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