Social conditioned place preference in the captive ground squirrel (Ictidomys Tridecemlineatus)

Social reward as a natural phenotype

Garet Lahvis, Jules B. Panksepp, Bruce C. Kennedy, Clarinda R. Wilson, Dana K. Merriman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social behaviors of wild animals are often considered within an ultimate framework of adaptive benefits versus survival risks. By contrast, studies of laboratory animals more typically focus on affective aspects of behavioral decisions, whether a rodent derives a rewarding experience from social encounter, and how this experience might be initiated and maintained by neural circuits. Artificial selection and inbreeding have rendered laboratory animals more affiliative and less aggressive than their wild conspecifics, leaving open the possibility that social reward is an artifact of domestication. We compared social behaviors of wild and captive population of juvenile 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), the latter being 2nd- and 3rd-generation descendants of wild individuals. At an age corresponding to emergence from the burrow, postnatal day (PD) 38, captive squirrels engaged in vigorous social approach and play and these juvenile behaviors declined significantly by PD 56. Similarly, young wild squirrels expressed social proximity and play; affiliative interactions declined with summer's progression and were replaced by agonistic chasing behaviors. Social conditioned place preference testing (conditioned PDs 40-50) indicated that adolescent squirrels derived a rewarding experience from social reunion. Our results support the contention that undomesticated rodents have the capacity for social reward and more generally suggest the possibility that positive affective experiences may support group cohesion, social cooperation, and altruism in the wild.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-303
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume129
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Fingerprint

Sciuridae
social behavior
squirrels
Reward
rodent
phenotype
Phenotype
captive population
agonistic behavior
altruism
domestication
Social Behavior
animal
Laboratory Animals
inbreeding
wild population
burrow
cohesion
laboratory animals
artifact

Keywords

  • Altruism
  • Camaraderie effect
  • Classical conditioning
  • Play-fighting
  • Social reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Social conditioned place preference in the captive ground squirrel (Ictidomys Tridecemlineatus) : Social reward as a natural phenotype. / Lahvis, Garet; Panksepp, Jules B.; Kennedy, Bruce C.; Wilson, Clarinda R.; Merriman, Dana K.

In: Journal of Comparative Psychology, Vol. 129, No. 3, 01.08.2015, p. 291-303.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lahvis, Garet ; Panksepp, Jules B. ; Kennedy, Bruce C. ; Wilson, Clarinda R. ; Merriman, Dana K. / Social conditioned place preference in the captive ground squirrel (Ictidomys Tridecemlineatus) : Social reward as a natural phenotype. In: Journal of Comparative Psychology. 2015 ; Vol. 129, No. 3. pp. 291-303.
@article{c7ad91abd5f04d809c3cc410b43fc36f,
title = "Social conditioned place preference in the captive ground squirrel (Ictidomys Tridecemlineatus): Social reward as a natural phenotype",
abstract = "Social behaviors of wild animals are often considered within an ultimate framework of adaptive benefits versus survival risks. By contrast, studies of laboratory animals more typically focus on affective aspects of behavioral decisions, whether a rodent derives a rewarding experience from social encounter, and how this experience might be initiated and maintained by neural circuits. Artificial selection and inbreeding have rendered laboratory animals more affiliative and less aggressive than their wild conspecifics, leaving open the possibility that social reward is an artifact of domestication. We compared social behaviors of wild and captive population of juvenile 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), the latter being 2nd- and 3rd-generation descendants of wild individuals. At an age corresponding to emergence from the burrow, postnatal day (PD) 38, captive squirrels engaged in vigorous social approach and play and these juvenile behaviors declined significantly by PD 56. Similarly, young wild squirrels expressed social proximity and play; affiliative interactions declined with summer's progression and were replaced by agonistic chasing behaviors. Social conditioned place preference testing (conditioned PDs 40-50) indicated that adolescent squirrels derived a rewarding experience from social reunion. Our results support the contention that undomesticated rodents have the capacity for social reward and more generally suggest the possibility that positive affective experiences may support group cohesion, social cooperation, and altruism in the wild.",
keywords = "Altruism, Camaraderie effect, Classical conditioning, Play-fighting, Social reward",
author = "Garet Lahvis and Panksepp, {Jules B.} and Kennedy, {Bruce C.} and Wilson, {Clarinda R.} and Merriman, {Dana K.}",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1037/a0039435",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "129",
pages = "291--303",
journal = "Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)",
issn = "0735-7036",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Social conditioned place preference in the captive ground squirrel (Ictidomys Tridecemlineatus)

T2 - Social reward as a natural phenotype

AU - Lahvis, Garet

AU - Panksepp, Jules B.

AU - Kennedy, Bruce C.

AU - Wilson, Clarinda R.

AU - Merriman, Dana K.

PY - 2015/8/1

Y1 - 2015/8/1

N2 - Social behaviors of wild animals are often considered within an ultimate framework of adaptive benefits versus survival risks. By contrast, studies of laboratory animals more typically focus on affective aspects of behavioral decisions, whether a rodent derives a rewarding experience from social encounter, and how this experience might be initiated and maintained by neural circuits. Artificial selection and inbreeding have rendered laboratory animals more affiliative and less aggressive than their wild conspecifics, leaving open the possibility that social reward is an artifact of domestication. We compared social behaviors of wild and captive population of juvenile 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), the latter being 2nd- and 3rd-generation descendants of wild individuals. At an age corresponding to emergence from the burrow, postnatal day (PD) 38, captive squirrels engaged in vigorous social approach and play and these juvenile behaviors declined significantly by PD 56. Similarly, young wild squirrels expressed social proximity and play; affiliative interactions declined with summer's progression and were replaced by agonistic chasing behaviors. Social conditioned place preference testing (conditioned PDs 40-50) indicated that adolescent squirrels derived a rewarding experience from social reunion. Our results support the contention that undomesticated rodents have the capacity for social reward and more generally suggest the possibility that positive affective experiences may support group cohesion, social cooperation, and altruism in the wild.

AB - Social behaviors of wild animals are often considered within an ultimate framework of adaptive benefits versus survival risks. By contrast, studies of laboratory animals more typically focus on affective aspects of behavioral decisions, whether a rodent derives a rewarding experience from social encounter, and how this experience might be initiated and maintained by neural circuits. Artificial selection and inbreeding have rendered laboratory animals more affiliative and less aggressive than their wild conspecifics, leaving open the possibility that social reward is an artifact of domestication. We compared social behaviors of wild and captive population of juvenile 13-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), the latter being 2nd- and 3rd-generation descendants of wild individuals. At an age corresponding to emergence from the burrow, postnatal day (PD) 38, captive squirrels engaged in vigorous social approach and play and these juvenile behaviors declined significantly by PD 56. Similarly, young wild squirrels expressed social proximity and play; affiliative interactions declined with summer's progression and were replaced by agonistic chasing behaviors. Social conditioned place preference testing (conditioned PDs 40-50) indicated that adolescent squirrels derived a rewarding experience from social reunion. Our results support the contention that undomesticated rodents have the capacity for social reward and more generally suggest the possibility that positive affective experiences may support group cohesion, social cooperation, and altruism in the wild.

KW - Altruism

KW - Camaraderie effect

KW - Classical conditioning

KW - Play-fighting

KW - Social reward

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84938743653&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84938743653&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0039435

DO - 10.1037/a0039435

M3 - Article

VL - 129

SP - 291

EP - 303

JO - Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)

JF - Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)

SN - 0735-7036

IS - 3

ER -