Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Serotonin is a common neurotransmitter found throughout the brain. Increasing evidence suggests that serotonin plays a key role in aggression and impulsivity in a variety of species. However, the underlying nature of how serotonin functionally impacts aggression has not been discovered. The present study sought to address this unexplored aim by examining the aggressive responses of male Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) to varying concentrations of Prozac. Prozac, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, is designed to increase levels of serotonin in the brain. Recent local news has indicated that Prozac appears in Missoula’s water supply and it is speculated that consuming this water may have adverse effects (Mayrer, 2010). Siamese fighting fish are ideal subjects for aggression studies as they have distinct aggressive behaviors in nature that are easy to observe. Previous researchers administered Prozac via injection, neglecting less invasive methods. For this experiment, a novel method of administration was used involving a timed exposure to water treated with Prozac. To study the effects of environmental Prozac absorption, fish were exposed to different concentrations of Prozac, and their aggression responses were recorded and coded. The study’s results indicated a decrease in aggression when subjects were exposed to Prozac. These data indicate that there is a link between aggression and serotonin levels. The method of administration has become increasingly relevant for modeling rising levels of Prozac in waste water. The results of this research will further our understanding of the environmental consequences of chemical pollutants for Missoula and in an aquatic systems.

Category

Physical Sciences

Share

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 9:20 AM Apr 11th, 9:40 AM

The Effects of Prozac on Aggression in Siamese Fighting Fish

Serotonin is a common neurotransmitter found throughout the brain. Increasing evidence suggests that serotonin plays a key role in aggression and impulsivity in a variety of species. However, the underlying nature of how serotonin functionally impacts aggression has not been discovered. The present study sought to address this unexplored aim by examining the aggressive responses of male Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) to varying concentrations of Prozac. Prozac, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, is designed to increase levels of serotonin in the brain. Recent local news has indicated that Prozac appears in Missoula’s water supply and it is speculated that consuming this water may have adverse effects (Mayrer, 2010). Siamese fighting fish are ideal subjects for aggression studies as they have distinct aggressive behaviors in nature that are easy to observe. Previous researchers administered Prozac via injection, neglecting less invasive methods. For this experiment, a novel method of administration was used involving a timed exposure to water treated with Prozac. To study the effects of environmental Prozac absorption, fish were exposed to different concentrations of Prozac, and their aggression responses were recorded and coded. The study’s results indicated a decrease in aggression when subjects were exposed to Prozac. These data indicate that there is a link between aggression and serotonin levels. The method of administration has become increasingly relevant for modeling rising levels of Prozac in waste water. The results of this research will further our understanding of the environmental consequences of chemical pollutants for Missoula and in an aquatic systems.