Processes Regulating the Initiation and Postejaculatory Resumption of Copulatory Behavior in Male Hamsters

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Studies using factor analysis have helped describe the organization of copulatory behavior in male rodents. However, the focus of these studies on a few traditional measures may have limited their results. To test this possibility, 74 sexually-experienced male hamsters were observed as they copulated with stimulus females. The measures collected exceeded the conventional ones in number, variety and independence. The factor analysis of these data revealed a structure with seven factors collectively accounting for 80% of the variance. Most resembled the factors in previous reports, reinforcing the contributions that the processes suggested by these factors make to the organization,of male behavior. But several other factors were more novel, possibly reflecting the use of measures that were novel or revised for greater independence. The most interesting of these were two factors focusing on early steps in the progression leading to ejaculation. Importantly, both incorporated measures from each of the three copulatory series that were observed. Past work suggests that independent processes control the times required to initiate copulation and later resume it after an ejaculation. In contrast, these results suggest the existence of two processes, each of which contributes to both the initiation and reinitiation of copulation. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Behavioural Processes



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