Date of Submission

Spring 2017

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Arseny Khakhalin

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Although the prevalence of tobacco using is declining in recent years, there were still over 1. 1 billion people in the world that smoked tobacco in 2015. The effects of the functional component in tobacco, nicotine, on human psychology are not yet understood. Previous studies have suggested that nicotine usage can lead to physiological and psychological changes. However, the direct effects of nicotine on aggressive behaviors are not fully clear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of acute and chronic nicotine administration and nicotine withdrawal on aggressive behaviors using male Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens). Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either nicotine or water: for acute exposure, they received 4 mg/kg of nicotine for twenty minutes and for chronic exposure, they received 1mg/kg of nicotine for six days. Effects of nicotine withdrawal were examined after subjects were deprived of nicotine for 1 hour and for 48 hours, receptively. I found that acute nicotine exposure produced sedative effects on the aggressive behaviors while chronic exposure did not produce any effects. Besides, short-term nicotine withdrawal greatly scaled down the aggressive displays while long-term nicotine withdrawal did not lead to any noticeable outcomes. In addition, acute nicotine exposure might lower fish’s aggressive displays by lowering their general locomotor ability while short- term nicotine withdrawal might make its effects through interfering with both locomotor ability and stimuli recognition. These findings demonstrate possible effects of nicotine on aggressive behaviors and mechanisms through which those effects might take place in other animals.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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