Social interactions elicit rapid shifts in functional connectivity in the social decision-making network of zebrafish

Magda C. Teles, Olinda Almeida, João S. Lopes, Rui F. Oliveira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


According to the social decision-making (SDM) network hypothesis, SDM is encoded in a network of forebrain and midbrain structures in a distributed and dynamic fashion, such that the expression of a given social behaviour is better reflected by the overall profile of activation across the different loci rather than by the activity of a single node. This proposal has the implicit assumption that SDM relies on integration across brain regions, rather than on regional specialization. Here we tested the occurrence of functional localization and of functional connectivity in the SDM network. For this purpose we used zebrafish to map different social behaviour states into patterns of neuronal activity, as indicated by the expression of the immediate early genes c-fos and egr-1, across the SDM network. The results did not support functional localization, as some loci had similar patterns of activity associated with different social behaviour states, and showed socially driven changes in functional connectivity. Thus, this study provides functional support to the SDM network hypothesis and suggests that the neural context in which a given node of the network is operating (i.e. the state of its interconnected areas) is central to its functional relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20151099
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1816
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional connectivity
  • Functional localization
  • Mesolimbic reward system
  • Neural context
  • Social behaviour network
  • Zebrafish


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