About this Research Topic
One of the great challenges in modern biology is to understand how social behaviors arise through a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and how they are implemented by brain circuits. Increasingly, studies in the field and laboratory have shown that group dynamics are critical to the life of individuals and that wherever groups are observed behavior is modulated by individual members as well as by the presence of others. The core questions driving the field have not changed since they were first identified in the early years of the 20th century. Ecologists and Ethologists studied the role of groups in immunity, reproduction, cooperation, conflict. Primitive antecedents of altruism were associated with the fruiting body of Dictyostelium discoidea, and nuanced behaviors associated with foraging, tunneling, and care of the young were associated with neural, developmental, behavioral, and cognitive strategies that appear as features of group life. Recognition of other members of one’s group along with sensory system adaptation, sensory motor integration and communication have set the stage for current studies on collective decision making and group dynamics. More recently, there has been a general acceptance of the presence of social organization even among organisms previously classified as solitary.
We aim to make this Research Topic a platform to provide new angles (in vitro, in vivo and in silico) that can inform the principles interfacing neural circuits and behavior, to promote discussion and interaction among the scientific community. We will bring together studies on the neural and molecular basis of social behavior across diverse organisms (invertebrate and vertebrate species) and fields to facilitate the dialogue between circuit-based models and the richness of life histories across evolution. We consider that Neuroethology provides the evolutionary perspective needed to inform these questions. Original research, reviews, and opinion articles are encouraged to adopt this foundational aim and to be provocative in an effort to grow the field.
Keywords: Neuroethology, Social Behavior, Evolution, Genetic, Environment
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