Asymmetry Indexes, Behavioural Instability and the Characterization of Behavioural Patterns II

A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994). This special issue belongs to the section "Life Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 1085

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg Universitet, Aalborg, Denmark
Interests: fluctuating asymmetry; developmental instability; behavioural instability; conservation genomics
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Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Interests: behavioural studies; zoo and wildlife medicine

Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Interests: behavioural studies; wildlife ecology; population dynamics

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Guest Editor
Department of Clinical Medicine – Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Aarhus University, Denmark
Interests: animal models; laboratory animal science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The novel concept of behavioural instability and its implications for the definition of the individual personality is now well established. It has been recognized that there is a need for high level of accuracy of a distribution’s four parameters: 1) mean, 2) variance, 3) skewness, and 4) kurtosis. In particular, the skewness of a distribution and the mean’s distance from the median of the distribution are very relevant for the characterization of the degree of asymmetry of a distribution. These two parameters allow us to quantify the degree of asymmetry in terms of fluctuating asymmetry and directional asymmetry. The variance can be used to estimate the degree of phenotypic variability, which is also correlated with the degree of asymmetry. There is now a need to test the method of “Asymmetry Indexes- Behavioural Instability”, on studies with larger sample size from animals kept in captivity and/or model organisms under different environmental setups which can be controlled in the laboratory.

The increased capacity of monitoring animals for long time periods with new behavioural devices and software has increased the statistical power of behavioural studies.

This increased statistical power will make it possible to answer several unresolved questions, such as:

  1. Is behavioural instability heritable? If behavioural instability should have an evolutionarily significant effect, it needs to have a certain degree of heritability, and the heritability of behavioural instability can be quantified by making experiments involving animals from several generations.
  2. Is behavioural instability maternally inheritable? Transgenerational effects like maternal effect could also be quantified.
  3. Is behavioural instability determined by a genotype × environment interaction? The use of clonal organisms could remove the bias due to the genetic variation between individuals and make it possible to quantify to what degree the genetic differences between individuals can determine differences in the degree of behavioural instability. In addition, it would also make it possible to discover to what degree differences between individuals in the degree of behavioural instability vary across environments.
  4. There are also practical application aspects that should be investigated further. For example, is it conceivable that behavioural instability is crucial for the understanding of behavioural results obtained from animal models?

Prof. Dr. Cino Pertoldi
Prof. Dr. Trine Hammer Jensen
Dr. Sussie Pagh
Prof. Dr. Aage Kristian Olsen Alstrup
Guest Editors

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