Pheromonal Influences on Rodent Agonistic Behavior

  • Barry Fass
  • David A. Stevens


The effects of odors on rodent agonistic behavior were unnoticed for many years. Attention was focused instead on examining the role of hormones in the regulation of attack and defensive responses. The impetus for study of the area was provided by Beeman’s (1947) discovery that androgen injections restored intraspecific sparring in castrated male rodents. Subsequent investigations demonstrated that female rodents exhibited fighting when treated with testosterone (Edwards, 1968) and males fought less when treated with estrogen or progesterone (Suchowski, Pegrassi, & Bonsignori, 1969; Erpino & Chappelle, 1971). These changes in agonistic behavior were thought to be mediated by an interaction between the hormones and a neural substrate for aggression (Edwards, 1969; Leshner, 1975).


Male Mouse Olfactory Bulb Agonistic Behavior Zinc Sulphate Intact Female 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Fass
    • 1
  • David A. Stevens
    • 1
  1. 1.Clark UniversityWorcesterUSA

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