• Journal Article

Perinatal steroid treatments alter alloparental and affiliative behavior in prairie voles

Citation

Roberts, R. L., Zullo, A., Gustafson, E. A., & Carter Porges, C. (1996). Perinatal steroid treatments alter alloparental and affiliative behavior in prairie voles. Hormones and Behavior, 30(4), 576-582. DOI: 10.1006/hbeh.1996.0060

Abstract

This experiment was designed to examine the hypothesis that perinatal manipulation of gonadal or adrenal steroids can alter the subsequent expression of juvenile parental (alloparenting) and affiliative behavior in prairie votes (Microtus ochrogaster). Corticosterone (PRECORT), testosterone (PRE-TP), or oil injections (PRESES) were given on Prenatal Days 12-20 or on Postnatal Days 1-6 (CORT6, TP6, or SES6, respectively). Alloparenting was reduced significantly in females in the CORT6 group and in males in the TP6 group. Sibling affiliative preferences were increased significantly in PRE-TP females and stranger preferences were increased in TP6 and CORT6 females. The results suggest timing is a critical factor determining whether hormones have a facilitative or inhibitory effect on alloparental and affiliative behavior in prairie voles. In this species, corticosterone and testosterone have similar organizational effects on affiliative behavior in females. Alloparental behavior is inhibited by postnatal corticosterone administration in females and by postnatal testosterone administration in males, whereas prenatal steroid administration had no significant effect on alloparenting in either gender. (C) 1996 Academic Press