Aggression Levels Raised by Winning Fights

by Kathy Jones on Dec 26 2011 8:57 PM

 Aggression Levels Raised by Winning Fights
A new study on fighting crickets has found that winning a fight can increase aggressiveness.
The new study provides insight into the biochemical mechanism that may be responsible for the aggressiveness.

The researchers, led by Paul Stevenson of the University of Leipzig in Germany, staged cricket "tournaments" to investigate the source of the heightened aggression, called the "winner effect", and the potential role of different treatments on this effect.

They found that the increased aggression associated with the winner effect is transient, the aggression levels returned to normal by about 20 minutes post-fight.

The researchers also found that treating the crickets with a chemical called epinastine, which interferes with the invertebrate equivalent of the adrenaline pathway, abolished the winner effect, suggesting that this adrenaline-like system is involved in aggression increase.

The study has been published in the online journal PloS ONE.