Risk-averse personalities have a systemically potentiated neuroendocrine stress axis: A multilevel experiment in Parus major

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Title: Risk-averse personalities have a systemically potentiated neuroendocrine stress axis: A multilevel experiment in Parus major
Author(s): Baugh, AT
Senft, RA
Firke, M
Lauder, A
Schroeder, J
Meddle, SL
Van Oers, K
Hau, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Hormonal pleiotropy-the simultaneous influence of a single hormone on multiple traits-has been hypothesized as an important mechanism underlying personality, and circulating glucocorticoids are central to this idea. A major gap in our understanding is the neural basis for this link. Here we examine the stability and structure of behavioral, endocrine and neuroendocrine traits in a population of songbirds (Parus major). Upon identifying stable and covarying behavioral and endocrine traits, we test the hypothesis that risk-averse personalities exhibit a neuroendocrine stress axis that is systemically potentiated-characterized by stronger glucocorticoid reactivity and weaker negative feedback. We show high among-individual variation and covariation (i.e. personality) in risk-taking behaviors and demonstrate that four aspects of glucocorticoid physiology (baseline, stress response, negative feedback strength and adrenal sensitivity) are also repeatable and covary. Further, we establish that high expression of mineralocorticoid and low expression of glucocorticoid receptor in the brain are linked with systemically elevated plasma glucocorticoid levels and more risk-averse personalities. Our findings support the hypothesis that steroid hormones can exert pleiotropic effects that organize behavioral phenotypes and provide novel evidence that neuroendocrine factors robustly explain a large fraction of endocrine and personality variation.
Publication Date: 26-Aug-2017
Date of Acceptance: 20-May-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/49293
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2017.05.011
ISSN: 0018-506X
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 99
End Page: 108
Journal / Book Title: Hormones and Behavior
Volume: 93
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Sponsor/Funder: Volkswagen Foundation
Funder's Grant Number: Volkswagen Fellowship
Keywords: ACTH
Behavioral syndromes
Corticosterone
Dexamethasone
Glucocorticoid receptor
HPA axis
Mineralocorticoid receptor
Negative feedback
Personality
Stress
ACTH
Behavioral syndromes
Corticosterone
Dexamethasone
Glucocorticoid receptor
HPA axis
Mineralocorticoid receptor
Negative feedback
Personality
Stress
11 Medical And Health Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
Behavioral Science & Comparative Psychology
Publication Status: Published
Conference Place: United States
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences



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