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Brain steroids in bluebanded gobies make for good dads

in males is generally associated with aggression and definitely not with .

Insights from a highly social fish can help understand how other , like testosterone, can shape a male’s , according to a recent research study.

Once bluebanded gobies become fathers, they stay close to the developing eggs, vigorously fan and rub them until they hatch, and also protect them from mothers who would eat them.

By injecting a series of chemicals into the brains of these fathers, the research team temporarily altered their brain androgens and also their level of parental care. As a result, the researchers found that brain androgens actually promote good parenting.

Published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences.

Reference: Pradhan DS, Solomon-Lane TK, Willis MC, Grober MS. 2014 A mechanism for rapid neurosteroidal regulation of parenting behaviour. Proc. R. Soc. B 281: 20140239. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.0239


Georgia State University