The role of serotonin in the modulation of cooperative behavior

Paula, Jose R., Messias, Joao P., Grutter, Alexandra S., Bshary, Redouan and Soares, Marta C. (2015) The role of serotonin in the modulation of cooperative behavior. Behavioral Ecology, 26 4: 1005-1012. doi:10.1093/beheco/arv039

Author Paula, Jose R.
Messias, Joao P.
Grutter, Alexandra S.
Bshary, Redouan
Soares, Marta C.
Title The role of serotonin in the modulation of cooperative behavior
Journal name Behavioral Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1045-2249
Publication date 2015-07-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/beheco/arv039
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 26
Issue 4
Start page 1005
End page 1012
Total pages 8
Place of publication Cary, United States
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Cleaning behavior is known as a classic example of cooperation between unrelated individuals. Although much is known of the behavioral processes underlying cooperative behavior, the physiological pathways mediating cooperation remain relatively obscure. Here, we show that altering the activity of serotonin on wild cleaner wrasses Labroides dimidiatus has causal effects on both social and cooperative activities. These cleaners cooperate by removing ectoparasites from visiting “client” reef fishes but prefer to eat client mucus, which constitutes “cheating.” We found that enhancing serotonin made cleaner wrasses more motivated to engage in cleaning behavior and more likely to provide physical contact to clients (tactile stimulation) without spending more time cleaning or cheating more often. Blocking serotonin-mediated response resulted in an apparent decrease in cleaners’ cheating levels and in an increase in cleaners’ aggressiveness toward smaller conspecifics. Our results provide first evidence that serotonin is a neuromodulatory driver of cooperative behavioral activities and contribute to the understanding of neural pathways of cooperation.
Keyword cooperation
cleaning behavior
Labroides dimidiatus
serotonin 1A receptor
8-hydroxy-2-(dipropylamino) tetralin hydrobromide
Way 100.635
Cleaner Fish
Partner Control
Reef Fish
Territorial Aggression
Tryptophan Depletion
Tactile Stimulation
Cortisol Secretion
5-Ht1A Receptors
Vervet Monkeys
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 8 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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