Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Robert Lickliter

First Advisor's Committee Title

Major Professor

Second Advisor's Name

Anthony Dick

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Bennett Schwartz


Stress, development, oxytocin, mesotocin, social cognition

Date of Defense



Oxytocin (OT) plays a key role in the mediation of social and stress behaviors across many species; however, the mechanism is still unclear. The present study investigated the influence of prenatal levels of mesotocin (MT; avian homologue of OT) on postnatal social and stress behavior in Northern bobwhite quail. Experiment one determined endogenous levels of MT during prenatal development using an enzyme-linked immunoassay kit. Experiment two examined the influence of increased MT during prenatal development on chicks' individual recognition ability and stress response to a novel environment. Experiment one showed MT levels increased significantly throughout embryonic development. Experiment two showed significant differences in stress behavior for chicks with increased MT during prenatal development; however, no significant differences were found for social behavior. This study suggests MT serves different functions depending on the stage of embryonic development and that increasing MT levels affects postnatal stress behavior, but not social behavior.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).