Expanding the link between out-group threats and in-group behavior: (a reply to Kavaliers and Choleris)

Andrew N Radford, Rick Bruintjes

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


In social species, groups and their members face a variety of threats from conspecific outsiders. Such out-group conflict is predicted to influence within-group behavior, with empirical work demonstrating this link in humans, primates, and birds. In our note "Out-Group Threat Promotes Within-Group Affiliation in a Cooperative Fish," appearing in The American Naturalist in February 2016, we provided experimental evidence that simulated territorial intrusions result in subsequent increases in affiliation among groupmates in a cichlid fish (Neolamprologus pulcher). Martin Kavaliers and Elena Choleris, in their comment "Out-Group Threat Responses, In-Group Bias, and Nonapeptide Involvement Are Conserved Across Vertebrates," appearing in this issue, commented on our cichlid-fish article; they consider the conserved nature of the link between out-group threat and in-group behavior and bias in vertebrates, the influence of pathogens in the process, and the potential underpinning hormonal mechanisms. Here, we provide clarification and expansion of some of the core points that are discussed in the comment by Kavaliers and Choleris.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-462
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number4
Early online date14 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Journal Article


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