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Proc Biol Sci. 2019 Jun 12;286(1904):20190760. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0760. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Pair-bonding influences affective state in a monogamous fish species.

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Biogéosciences, UMR 6282 CNRS, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté , 6 Boulevard Gabriel, 21000 Dijon , France.


In humans, affective states are a key component in pair-bonding, particularly in the early stage of a relationship. Pairing with a high-quality partner elicits positive affective states which, in turn, validate and reinforce the mate choice. Affective states thus strongly affect pair stability and future reproductive success. We propose generalizing the link between affective states and pair-bonding to encompass other monogamous species exhibiting biparental care, chiefly where the reproductive success of the pair critically depends on the coordination between partners. The convict cichlid Amatitlania siquia is a monogamous fish species that forms long-lasting pairs with strong cooperation between parents for parental care. In this species, we showed that females paired with their non-preferred male had lower reproductive success than those paired with their preferred male. We then transposed the judgement bias paradigm, previously used in other animal species, to assess objectively affective states in fishes. Females that were assigned their non-preferred partner exhibited pessimistic bias, which indicates a negative affective state. By contrast, females that were assigned their preferred partner did not exhibit changes in their affective state. Our results highlight that the influence of pair-bonding on affective states is not human-specific and can also be observed in non-human species.


convict cichlid Amatitlania siquia; emotion; judgement bias test; mate choice; optimistic–pessimistic bias; partner attachment

[Available on 2020-06-12]

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