Hormonal Control of Behavior


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Hormonal Control of Behavior

Post by Kelly185891 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:17 pm

In studying the hormonal control of behavior, it is common to remove an animal's ovaries or testes and then inject the creature with assorted hormones to see what behavioral effects they have. What advantage does this technique have over another approach, which is simply to measure the concentrations of specific hormones in the blood of the animal subjects from time to time? The far less invasive, direct measurement approach would show, for example, whether testosterone or estrogen concentrations were elevated when mating was occuring.

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Inland Taipan
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Post by canalon » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:48 pm

I guess you could argue that by removing the internal source of those hormones you can decide which concentrations of each hormone is injected and then record the change of behaviour. Instead of waiting to observe the behaviour then pounce on the animal and draw some blood. This could also demonstrate causality between the behaviour and the change of behaviour, rather than just correlation (i.e. when I inject hormone so that I reach level X, studied behaviour is always observed, which is stronger evidence that correlation).
Now I will carefully avoid treading the subject of the ethics of such studies

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)

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