Winning fights increases aggression, even in crickets

December 21, 2011

Winning a fight can raise aggressiveness, and a study of fighting crickets, published Dec. 21 in the online journal PLoS ONE, provides new insight into the biochemical mechanism that may be responsible.

The researchers, led by Paul Stevenson of the University of Leipzig in Germany, staged cricket "tournaments" to investigate the source of the heightened aggression, called the "winner effect", and the potential role of different treatments on this effect.

They found that the increased aggression associated with the winner effect is transient; the aggression levels returned to normal by about 20 minutes post-fight.

They also found that treating the with a chemical called epinastine, which interferes with the invertebrate equivalent of the adrenaline pathway, abolished the winner effect, suggesting that this adrenaline-like system is involved in aggression increase.

Explore further: Seeing and experiencing violence makes aggression 'normal' for children

More information: Rillich J, Stevenson PA (2011) Winning Fights Induces Hyperaggression via the Action of the Biogenic Amine Octopamine in Crickets. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28891. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028891

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Researchers find new way to attack gastro bug

October 21, 2016

A team at Griffith's Institute for Glycomics identified a unique sensory structure that is able to bind host-specific sugar and is present on particularly virulent strains of Campylobacter jejuni.

A moving story of FHL2 and forces

October 21, 2016

Researchers from the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have revealed the molecular events leading to the regulation of cell growth and proliferation in response to stiffness of the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.