Research
Print page Print page
Switch language
The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
Published

The number of neurons in specific amygdala regions is associated with boldness in mink: a study in animal personality

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  1. Topological principles and developmental algorithms might refine diffusion tractography

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  2. Enhanced expression of potassium-chloride cotransporter KCC2 in human temporal lobe epilepsy

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Blindness alters the microstructure of the ventral but not the dorsal visual stream

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  1. Distinct Autoimmune Anti-α-Synuclein Antibody Patterns in Multiple System Atrophy and Parkinson’s Disease

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Authors' response: Association between IBD and Parkinson's disease: seek and you shall find?

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateResearch

  3. Impaired Wnt Signaling in the Prefrontal Cortex of Alzheimer's Disease

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Striking reduction in neurons and glial cells in anterior thalamic nuclei of older patients with Down syndrome

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

View graph of relations

Conspecifics vary consistently in their behavioural responses towards environment stimuli such as exposure to novel objects; ethologists often refer to this variability as animal personality. The neurological mechanisms underlying animal personality traits remain largely unknown, but linking the individual variation in emotional expression to brain structural and neurochemical factors is attracting renewed interest. While considerable research has focused on hormonal and neurotransmitter effects on behavioural responses, less is known about how individual variation in the number of specific neuron populations contributes to individual variation in behaviour. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the central nuclei of the amygdala (CeA) mediate emotional processing by regulating behavioural responses of animals in a potentially threatening situation. As such, these structures are good candidates for evaluating the relationship between neuronal populations and behavioural traits. We now show that individual American mink (Neovison vison) reacting more boldly towards novelty have more neurons in the BLA than do their more timid conspecifics, suggesting that a developmental pattern of the number of amygdala neurons can influence behavioural traits of an adult animal. Furthermore, post hoc correlations revealed that individuals performing with higher arousal, as reflected by their frequency of startle behaviour, have more CeA neurons. Our results support a direct link between the number of neurons in amygdala regions and aspects of animal personality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain structure & function
Volume223
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1989-1998
Number of pages10
ISSN0177-5154
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

ID: 55211613