Netzwerkbildung und interdisziplinärer Wissenstransfer
Alumni - Interdisziplinäre Projekte

Towards Under­stan­ding the Genetic Basis of Appeti­tive Aggres­sive Behavior

Jan Gerwin – Hector Fellow Axel Meyer, Hector Fellow Thomas Elbert

Viele neuro­lo­gi­sche Vorgänge im Zusam­men­hang mit aggres­si­vem Verhal­ten sind bekannt, jedoch ist das Wissen über weitere Fakto­ren, die aggres­si­ves Verhal­ten beein­flus­sen, begrenzt. In diesem Projekt benut­zen wir Kampf­fi­sche (Betta sp.) um heraus­zu­fin­den, wie sich Umwelt­ein­flüsse und geneti­sche Fakto­ren auf aggres­si­ves Verhal­ten auswirken.
Aggres­sive behavior can be of two distinct origins: (1) reactive aggres­sion, as a response to threa­tening or dange­rous situa­tions and (2) appeti­tive aggres­sion, that is motiva­ted by intrin­sic factors, for example positive feelings through the exertion of violence.

Even though much is known about the hormo­nal and neuro­nal pathways invol­ved in aggres­sive behavi­ors, its remains unclear how intrin­sic and extrin­sic factors shape aggres­sive behavi­ors and how those factors affect the transi­tion from reactive to appeti­tive aggres­sion. Fight­ing fish (genus Betta) have been used in behavi­oral studies since the 1980’s and are a perfect model to study aggres­sive behaviors.

Especi­ally males are highly aggres­sive towards conspe­ci­fics which is why they are used for comba­tive inter­ac­tions (similar to cockfights) in some count­ries in Southe­ast Asia. In the course of this project we want to find out why some fight­ing fish are more aggres­sive than others by using behavi­oral and genetic approa­ches. By doing so we hope to get a better under­stan­ding of aggres­sive behavior in general.

Jan Gerwin

Univer­si­tät Konstanz

Betreut durch

Prof. Dr.

Axel Meyer


Hector Fellow seit 2011Disziplinen Axel Meyer

Prof. Dr.

Thomas Elbert


Hector Fellow seit 2009