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Social Stress and Neuroendocrinology

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The stress response is an adaptive and evolutionary well conserved physiological and behavioral response aimed at counteracting homeostatic disruption. However, if chronically activated it may have adverse effects. In group-living animals stress related to social interaction is often intense and chronic with ...

The stress response is an adaptive and evolutionary well conserved physiological and behavioral response aimed at counteracting homeostatic disruption. However, if chronically activated it may have adverse effects. In group-living animals stress related to social interaction is often intense and chronic with multiple effects on behavior, physiology and life history. These effects of social stress are mediated by various neuronal and neuroendocrine systems. However, individuals differ in their response to stress, an intraspecific divergence related to genetic as well as environmental factors and previous experience. In fact, the social environment experienced by an individual seems to have large effects on its response to additional superimposed stressors. In some species, social status (i.e. stress levels) affects time of migration, age of sexual maturation and even the sex of an individual. In this Research Topic, the aim is to assemble original research papers and reviews exploring these interactions between social stressors, neuronal and neuroendocrine factors, neuronal plasticity and life history traits, covering different social status (dominant to subordinate) as well as different species of vertebrate and invertebrate animals.


Keywords: social stress, neuroendocrine factors, life history, social status


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