Social Behavior in Zebrafish
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 2591
Interests: social behavior; oxytocin; hormones; monoamines; autism; genetics; imaging; pharmacology; drug screening; zebrafish
Social interactions with conspecifics are adaptive and come with biological benefits and costs. In addition to mating, parenting, and aggression, studying the neurobiology of other forms of dyadic and group social behaviours also has translational value. Besides increasing basic knowledge, such understanding may also contribute towards the development of treatment options for atypical social behaviours that exist in various human disorders such as autism, anxiety and mood disorders, and stress-related disorders.
Zebrafish is a highly social species that provides many advantages for studying the neuroscience of social behaviours. In contrast to rodent models, zebrafish are precocial, diurnal, and mainly rely on their vision (rather than olfaction). Zebrafish also offer ease of genetic modifiability, high fecundity, short generation time, the capacity for high-throughput studies, and a high level of conservation with the mammalian brain. The transparency and size of the larval brain also make pre-clinical studies feasible for interventions such as drug treatments and genetic modifications that influence neuronal activity on a whole-brain level.
The aim of this Special Issue is to present recent findings about the ontogeny and expression of social behaviours in zebrafish, systematic characterization of shoaling, schooling, aggression and mating behaviours, as well as the underlying neuronal and molecular mechanisms of these various social behaviours. Furthermore, we aim to provide an overview of the various methodological possibilities provided by the zebrafish model. Descriptions of social behaviours in zebrafish mutants, generated by chemical mutagenesis, Crispr-Cas9 and other reverse genetic tools, lacking genes known to cause or contribute to autism or other disorders characterized by deficits in social communication, would be intriguing contributions for this Special Issue. Furthermore, contributions from the long-standing field of research into the effects of toxins, stress, and other environmental factors on zebrafish social behaviour are also highly prioritized. To enhance knowledge regarding neural and molecular mechanisms relevant for social behaviours, we encourage pharmacological studies using drugs with known targets or explorative drug screens. Investigations of relevant neuronal activity and neurotransmitter function would also be valuable complements to this Special Issue.
Prof. Dr. Lars Westberg
Dr. Soaleha Shams
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- social behavior
- central nervous system
- environmental factor