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Antipredator Defense

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Robert J. Blanchard – One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • The rat exposure test: a model of mouse defensive behaviors.
    Physiology & Behavior, 2004
    Co-Authors: Mu Yang, Robert J. Blanchard, Hanna Augustsson, Chris M. Markham, David Hubbard, Dylan Webster, Phillip M. Wall, D. Caroline Blanchard

    Abstract:

    Abstract In order to facilitate behavioral, and potentially pharmacological, analyses of risk assessment behaviors in mice, a rat exposure test (RET) was devised and evaluated. This test provides a home chamber connected via a tunnel to a rat (predator) exposure area. Familiar substrate is provided to permit burying, and mouse subjects are habituated to the apparatus prior to exposure to an amphetamine-activated rat. In comparison to toy-rat-exposed controls, rat-exposed BALB/c mice showed significantly more risk assessment [stretch attend posture (SAP) and stretch approach], freezing, and avoidance (time in the home chamber), and less time in contact with the wire mesh screen between itself and the threat stimulus. When BALB/c, C57BL/6, CD-1, and Swiss–Webster mice were compared in this test, the two inbred strains (BALB/c and C57BL/6) tended to show more extreme values of particular defensive behaviors, compared to the two outbred strains (Swiss–Webster and CD-1). C57BL/6 mice showed more avoidance and higher levels of SAP, freezing, and burying than BALB/c and more than one or both outbred strains as well. BALB/c mice showed little defensive burying, both in comparison to toy-exposed controls (Experiment 1), and in comparison to the three other strains in Experiment 2. These findings are somewhat at variance with characterizations of anxiety in C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice, based on tests utilizing novel areas and noxious stimuli, suggesting strain differences in defensiveness to such stimuli, compared to Antipredator Defense levels. Nonetheless, with the exception of burying in BALB/c mice, all strains showed all defensive behaviors measured to the rat stimulus. In particular, SAP levels were substantial in all strains tested, suggesting the usefulness of this test in assessment of the role of risk assessment in Defense.

  • Benzodiazepine and Serotonergic Modulation of Antipredator and Conspecific Defense
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 1998
    Co-Authors: D. Caroline Blanchard, Guy Griebel, R. John Rodgers, Robert J. Blanchard

    Abstract:

    Abstract BLANCHARD, D. C., G. GRIEBEL, R. J. RODGERS AND R. J. BLANCHARD. Benzodiazepine and serotonergic modulation of Antipredator and conspecific Defense . NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 22 (5) 597–612.—The mammalian Defense repertory comprises an array of individual behaviors that are extraordinarily sensitive to relevant features of the threat stimulus and the situation in which it occurs. In parallel with increasing awareness of the specificity and complexity of defensive behaviors and of their potential relevance to psychopathologies (e.g. anxiety, panic, and depression) is an escalating use of natural threat stimuli such as attacking conspecifics or predators in paradigms aimed at evaluating drug effects on Defense. A review of the literature on benzodiazepine (BZ) and serotonin (5-HT) effects on conspecific and Antipredator Defense, including defensive analgesia, indicates that both types of stimuli elicit a wide array of relevant defensive behaviors. These studies suggest specificity of drug effects on particular behaviors, rather than a general alteration of all aspects of Defense. However, stimulus variability and possible confounding of effects are a considerable problem with conspecific Defense paradigms, while Antipredator paradigms utilizing human experimenters as the predator may be difficult to use with domesticated laboratory animal subjects. In addition, sensitivity to the organization of defensive behaviors and to differences between species in Defense patterns is necessary to adequate interpretation of results. Nonetheless, these paradigms have permitted major advancements in analysis of the behavioral Defense systems and their sensitive use in drug studies will greatly facilitate an understanding of the physiology of Defense.

  • A model of ‘AntipredatorDefense in Swiss-Webster mice: effects of benzodiazepine receptor ligands with different intrinsic activities.
    Behavioural pharmacology, 1995
    Co-Authors: Guy Griebel, D C Blanchard, A. Jung, Robert J. Blanchard

    Abstract:

    A mouse Defense test battery (MDTB) has been designee to assess defensive reactions of Swiss-Webster mice to situations associated with nonpianful threat. When compared to mice approached by a leather glove, animals confronted with an anesthetized or a conscious rat displayed potentiated flight responses and defensive threat/attack reactions, while risk assessment performances were generally similar in all three conditions. Furthermore, escape attempt responses following removal of the stimulus were higher in the conscious rat condition compared to the two other groups. Taken together, these results suggest that flight reactions and defensive threat/attack responses are specific to the rat, and thus indicate that the MDTB may relate to ‘AntipredatorDefense. In mice confronted with an anaesthetized rat, administration of the benzodiazepine (BZ) receptor full agonist chlordiazepoxide (5–25 mg/kg, i.p., 30 min) and the BZ partial agonist Ro 19–8022 (0.5–2 mg/kg, i.p., 30 min) altered one of two risk assessment measures and inhibited defensibe attack behaviors, but failed to counter the post-predator increase in escape attempts. In addition, Ro 19–8022 also strongly reduced flight responses. The overall behavioral profile suggests a fear/anxiety-reducing action of both drugs. By contrast, administration of the BZ inverse agonist Ro 19–4603 (0.025–0.1 mg/kg, i.p., 30 min) reliably released these defensive responses. Interestingly, the BZ antagonist flumazeni (5–20 mg/kg, i.p., 30 min) manifested differential intrinsic activity depending upon the level of threat. Thus, in a weakly threatening situation, the drug potentiated flight reactions, indicating an inverse agonist-like action, decreased defensive biting in a highly threatening situation, indicating an agonist activity. These findings demonstrated that BZ ligands differently modulated ‘AntipredatorDefense in Swiss Webster mice, depending upon their intrinsic (positive or negative) efficacy, but also depending upon the Defense strategy required by the threat.

D. Caroline Blanchard – One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • The rat exposure test: a model of mouse defensive behaviors.
    Physiology & Behavior, 2004
    Co-Authors: Mu Yang, Robert J. Blanchard, Hanna Augustsson, Chris M. Markham, David Hubbard, Dylan Webster, Phillip M. Wall, D. Caroline Blanchard

    Abstract:

    Abstract In order to facilitate behavioral, and potentially pharmacological, analyses of risk assessment behaviors in mice, a rat exposure test (RET) was devised and evaluated. This test provides a home chamber connected via a tunnel to a rat (predator) exposure area. Familiar substrate is provided to permit burying, and mouse subjects are habituated to the apparatus prior to exposure to an amphetamine-activated rat. In comparison to toy-rat-exposed controls, rat-exposed BALB/c mice showed significantly more risk assessment [stretch attend posture (SAP) and stretch approach], freezing, and avoidance (time in the home chamber), and less time in contact with the wire mesh screen between itself and the threat stimulus. When BALB/c, C57BL/6, CD-1, and Swiss–Webster mice were compared in this test, the two inbred strains (BALB/c and C57BL/6) tended to show more extreme values of particular defensive behaviors, compared to the two outbred strains (Swiss–Webster and CD-1). C57BL/6 mice showed more avoidance and higher levels of SAP, freezing, and burying than BALB/c and more than one or both outbred strains as well. BALB/c mice showed little defensive burying, both in comparison to toy-exposed controls (Experiment 1), and in comparison to the three other strains in Experiment 2. These findings are somewhat at variance with characterizations of anxiety in C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice, based on tests utilizing novel areas and noxious stimuli, suggesting strain differences in defensiveness to such stimuli, compared to Antipredator Defense levels. Nonetheless, with the exception of burying in BALB/c mice, all strains showed all defensive behaviors measured to the rat stimulus. In particular, SAP levels were substantial in all strains tested, suggesting the usefulness of this test in assessment of the role of risk assessment in Defense.

  • Benzodiazepine and Serotonergic Modulation of Antipredator and Conspecific Defense
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 1998
    Co-Authors: D. Caroline Blanchard, Guy Griebel, R. John Rodgers, Robert J. Blanchard

    Abstract:

    Abstract BLANCHARD, D. C., G. GRIEBEL, R. J. RODGERS AND R. J. BLANCHARD. Benzodiazepine and serotonergic modulation of Antipredator and conspecific Defense . NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 22 (5) 597–612.—The mammalian Defense repertory comprises an array of individual behaviors that are extraordinarily sensitive to relevant features of the threat stimulus and the situation in which it occurs. In parallel with increasing awareness of the specificity and complexity of defensive behaviors and of their potential relevance to psychopathologies (e.g. anxiety, panic, and depression) is an escalating use of natural threat stimuli such as attacking conspecifics or predators in paradigms aimed at evaluating drug effects on Defense. A review of the literature on benzodiazepine (BZ) and serotonin (5-HT) effects on conspecific and Antipredator Defense, including defensive analgesia, indicates that both types of stimuli elicit a wide array of relevant defensive behaviors. These studies suggest specificity of drug effects on particular behaviors, rather than a general alteration of all aspects of Defense. However, stimulus variability and possible confounding of effects are a considerable problem with conspecific Defense paradigms, while Antipredator paradigms utilizing human experimenters as the predator may be difficult to use with domesticated laboratory animal subjects. In addition, sensitivity to the organization of defensive behaviors and to differences between species in Defense patterns is necessary to adequate interpretation of results. Nonetheless, these paradigms have permitted major advancements in analysis of the behavioral Defense systems and their sensitive use in drug studies will greatly facilitate an understanding of the physiology of Defense.

  • Behaviors of Swiss-Webster and C57/BL/6N sin mice in a fear/Defense test battery
    Aggressive Behavior, 1995
    Co-Authors: Robert J. Blanchard, Scott M. Weiss, Stefano Parmigiani, Rey Agullana, D. Caroline Blanchard

    Abstract:

    When confronted by an approaching threat stimulus (experimenter or laboratory rat), Swiss-Webster mice show initial flight, followed by freezing and defensive vocalization and biting, the latter only when escape is blocked. These Defense patterns resemble those of the wild rat, suggesting that mice of this strain do not show the reductions in flight and defensive threat/attack that are typical of laboratory rats. C57/BL/6N Sin strain mice showed fewer avoidances to an approaching predator, as well as reduced vocalization and defensive biting, a pattern more similar to that of laboratory rats. As with rats, female mice appeared to be more defensive to a predator. The showed greater reactivity to dorsal contact and more frequent defensive biting and jump attacks than males of the same strains. These patterns of defensive behaviors suggest that, although strain differences in Defense are substantial, laboratory mice are suitable for, and may offer several advantages in, the study of the genetic, endocrine, and pharmacological basis of Antipredator Defense

Tim Caro – One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • Flash behavior in mammals?
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 2020
    Co-Authors: Tim Caro, Hana Raees, Theodore Stankowich

    Abstract:

    Conspicuous coloration in animals has many possible functions including signaling to conspecifics, or predator deterrence through confusion, intimidation, and duping; the last includes flash behavior where predators are deceived into looking for conspicuous cues exhibited in flight but that are hidden when the animal comes to rest. In an effort to see if flash behavior occurs in mammals, we made predictions about situations where conspicuous coloration (as based on human assessment) might occur in artiodactyls and lagomorphs, and other predictions as to where such coloration might be found under an intraspecific signaling hypothesis. Using phylogenetically controlled analyses, we found that across species of artiodactyls, conspicuous rumps are more likely to have evolved in larger-sized group-living species supporting an intraspecific signaling function; this was not replicated in lagomorphs. Examining those artiodactyls that can facultatively expose color patches (putative flash behavior), we discovered that this trait occurred in artiodactyls that are solitary or living in very small groups irrespective of their body size. It is therefore possible that species such as white- and black-tailed deer, which display white rumps and tails during pursuit but hide them when stationary, are using flash behavior to confuse the predator into looking for the wrong object and thereby avoid detection and suggests that this form of Antipredator Defense in mammals needs greater attention. We found no effects of group size or body mass on conspicuous tail or ear markings in these taxa. Significance statement Many mammals have conspicuous markings on their appendages and hindquarters, the function of which is mostly unknown. We matched these markings in rabbits, hares, and pikas and in bovids and cervids to both body size and group size across species. We found that conspicuous rumps are found in group living ungulates but when we separated these into conspicuous hindquarters always on display or that could be hidden, we found that hidden markings were principally found in species living alone or in very small groups irrespective of their body size. These species may expose conspicuous patches during flight but hide them at rest fooling the predator into searching for the wrong object, a relatively newly researched Defense mechanism called flash behavior.

  • Flash behavior increases prey survival
    Behavioral Ecology, 2018
    Co-Authors: Karl Loeffler-henry, Tim Caro, Changku Kang, Yolanda Yip, Thomas N. Sherratt

    Abstract:

    Flash behavior is an Antipredator Defense in which an otherwise cryptic prey displays conspicuous color patches during its escape but hides them on resettling. Using human subjects, we found that flash behavior increased the survival rate of escaping artificial prey, most likely because subjects expected to see prey of a different appearance when they came to search for them. This study provides first proof of concept of one hypothesized benefit of flash behavior.

  • Antipredator deception in terrestrial vertebrates
    Current Zoology, 2014
    Co-Authors: Tim Caro

    Abstract:

    Deceptive Antipredator Defense mechanisms fall into three categories: depriving predators of knowledge of prey’s presence, providing cues that deceive predators about prey handling, and dishonest signaling. Deceptive Defenses in terrestrial vertebrates include aspects of crypsis such as background matching and countershading, visual and acoustic Batesian mimicry, active Defenses that make animals seem more difficult to handle such as increase in apparent size and threats, feigning injury and death, distractive behaviours, and aspects of flight. After reviewing these Defenses, I attempt a preliminary evaluation of which aspects of Antipredator deception are most widespread in amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds (Current Zoology 60 (1): 16 25, 2014).