Effects of anteroventral septal lesions on intraspecific aggression in male hamsters

M. Potegal, A. Blau, M. Glusman

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Anteroventral septal (AVS) but not posterior septal-anterior thalamic (PSAT) lesions significantly increased attacks by male hamsters on restrained, drug-treated target hamsters. These differences in aggressiveness were confirmed by unrestrained paired encounters: AVS subjects defeated PSAT subjects in every encounter and sham operated subjects in all but one. The AVS lesions significantly increased activity levels. In AVS, but not other groups, attack rate correlated significantly with activity levels. AVS and PSAT lesions disrupted hoarding, nesting, and sexual behavior. Fifty-six percent of AVS subjects attacked (rather than copulated with) a hormonally primed female, compared to 14% of PSAT and 25% of sham subjects. The anteroventral septum may be important in the suppression of intraspecific aggression which would otherwise conflict with sexual behavior in the highly conspecific-intolerant hamster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1981


  • Activity
  • Anteroventral septal lesions
  • Hamster
  • Hoarding
  • Intraspecific aggression
  • Nest-building
  • Sexual behavior

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