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nencki.gov.pl » Working Groups » Department of Neurophysiology »
Laboratory of Ethology

Head
Ewa Joanna GODZIŃSKA

Staff
Jerzy A. CHMURZYŃSKI, Julita KORCZYŃSKA, Anna SZCZUKA, Anna MIRECKA (technician), Andrzej WNUK (PhD student)

Research profile

We work in the field of ethology, sociobiology and social neuroscience of social insects. We are particularly interested in the analysis of multidirectional information flow between various levels of organization present in insect societies. Our current research is focused on ethopharmacological analysis of neurochemical mechanisms underlying the phenomena of social reward and social cohesion in ant colonies as well as various types of ant aggressive behaviour (intraspecific, interspecific and predatory aggression). We are also interested in the role of social context in the control of expression/suppression of various elements of ant behaviour. We also try to unravel the effects of behavioural status (nurse versus forager) on behaviour and physiology of ant workers and to identify behavioural, morphological, physiological and neurochemical correlates of the so called behavioural reversion, i. e. the return of a forager to the behavioural status of a nurse.

Current research activities

  • analysis of behaviour patterns displayed by workers of various ant species when reunited with a nestmate after a period of social isolation
  • effects of biogenic amines octopamine, tyramine, dopamine and serotonin on behaviour patterns displayed by ants during nestmate reunion tests carried out after a period of social isolation and during aggresion tests
  • role of social context in the mediation of expression/suppression of predatory behaviour of workers of the red wood ant Formica polyctena
  • factors influencing survivorship of ant workers in the conditions of social isolation
  • effects of behavioural status (nurse, forager, reverted nurse) on responses of ant workers to social isolation and on their behaviour during nestmate reunion tests and aggression tests
  • behavioural, physiological, anatomical and neurochemical correlates of behavioural reversion in workers of the ant Formica polyctena (among others, HPLC analysis of biogenic amine contents in the brains of nurses, foragers and reverted nurses)

Selected publications

Szczuka A., Korczyńska J., Kieruzel M., Godzińska E. J. (2007). Social isolation and worker survival in the obligatory slave-making ant Polyergus rufescens (Latreille, 1798) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 10: 122.

Wagner-Ziemka A., Szczuka A., Korczyńska J., Kieruzel M., Godzińska E. J. (2006) Behavior of ant-workers of Aphaenogaster senilis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) during dyadic nestmate reunion tests carried out after a period of social isolation. Sociobiology 48: 281-308.

Korczyńska J., Szczuka A., Kieruzel M., Majczyński H., Khvorostova N., Godzińska E. J. (2005) Effects of the biogenic amines, dopamine, tyramine and octopamine on the behavior of carpenter ant workers [ Camponotus herculeanus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)] during nestmate reunion tests carried out after a period of social isolation. Sociobiology 45: 409-447

Szczuka A., Godzińska E. J. (2004) The role of group size in the control of expression of predatory behavior in workers of the red wood ant Formica polyctena (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 43: 295-325.

Szczuka A., Godzińska E. J. (2004) The effect of gradual increase of group size on the expression of predatory behavior in workers of the red wood ant Formica polyctena (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 43: 327-349.



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Published at: 2008-04-25 10:45
 

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