Social control of reproduction in cichlid fishes
The objective of our studies is to comprehend the impact that social interactions (aggression, courtship, mate selection, brood care and social hierarchies) might have over neuronal populations related with the modulation of the reproductive physiology and its associated behaviors. We work with the South American cichlid fish Cichlasoma dimerus as experimental model. This species presents different social ranks and strong social interactions which are easy to quantify. Besides it presents high survival and reproduction rates in the laboratory. Our experiments include interaction between ethology, neuroendocrinology, physiology, molecular biology and neuroanatomy. Our goal is to reveal how environmental factors can modulate the reproductive physiology.