Brain steroids make good dads

May 19, 2014

Testosterone in males is generally associated with aggression and definitely not with good parenting. Insights from a highly social fish can help understand how other androgenic steroids, like testosterone, can shape a male's parenting skills, according to a recent Georgia State University 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.

The study is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Explore further: Field study shows glassfrog embryos hatch early if not well cared for by parent

More information: 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. dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.0239

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Testes size correlates with men's involvement in toddler care

Sep 09, 2013

Men with smaller testes than others are more likely to be involved in hands-on care of their toddlers, a new study conducted by anthropologists at Emory University finds. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) ...

Neuroscience 'used and abused'

Mar 19, 2014

Influential policy-informing 'evidence' that children's brains are irreversibly 'sculpted' by parental care is based on questionable evidence.

Recommended for you

Secret wing colours attract female fruit flies

20 hours ago

Bright colours appear on a fruit fly's transparent wings against a dark background as a result of light refraction. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have now demonstrated that females choose a mate ...

Pigeons and people play the odds when rewards are higher

22 hours ago

(Phys.org) —If you were weighing the risks, would you choose to receive a guaranteed $100, or take a 50/50 chance of winning either $200 or nothing? Researchers at the University of Alberta have shown that ...

User comments : 0