Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 420425
Title Linking fearfulness and coping styles in fish
Author(s) Martins, C.I.; Silva, P.I.M.; Conceição, L.E.C.; Costas, B.; Höglund, E.; Overli, O.; Schrama, J.W.
Source PLoS One 6 (2011)11. - ISSN 1932-6203
Department(s) Aquaculture and Fisheries
WIAS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) guppy poecilia-reticulata - rainbow-trout - stress responsiveness - oncorhynchus-mykiss - personality-traits - investigating fear - plasma-cortisol - nile tilapia - behavior - neuroendocrine
Abstract Consistent individual differences in cognitive appraisal and emotional reactivity, including fearfulness, are important personality traits in humans, non-human mammals, and birds. Comparative studies on teleost fishes support the existence of coping styles and behavioral syndromes also in poikilothermic animals. The functionalist approach to emotions hold that emotions have evolved to ensure appropriate behavioral responses to dangerous or rewarding stimuli. Little information is however available on how evolutionary widespread these putative links between personality and the expression of emotional or affective states such as fear are. Here we disclose that individual variation in coping style predicts fear responses in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, using the principle of avoidance learning. Fish previously screened for coping style were given the possibility to escape a signalled aversive stimulus. Fearful individuals showed a range of typically reactive traits such as slow recovery of feed intake in a novel environment, neophobia, and high post-stress cortisol levels. Hence, emotional reactivity and appraisal would appear to be an essential component of animal personality in species distributed throughout the vertebrate subphylum.
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