Ton Groothuis

Ton Groothuis
University of Groningen | RUG · Department of Psychology

About

226
Publications
36,643
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11,381
Citations
Citations since 2016
53 Research Items
4574 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220200400600
20162017201820192020202120220200400600

Publications

Publications (226)
Article
Full-text available
1. In vertebrates, thyroid hormones (THs) play an important role in the regulation of growth, development, metabolism, photoperiodic responses and migration. Maternally transferred THs are important for normal early‐phase embryonic development when embryos are not able to produce endogenous THs. Previous studies have shown that variation in materna...
Article
Full-text available
Costs of reproduction shape the life-history evolution of investment in current and future reproduction and thereby aging. Androgens have been proposed to regulate the physiology governing these investments. Furthermore, androgens are hypothesized to play a central role in carotenoid-dependent sexual signaling, regulating how much carotenoids are d...
Article
The adaptive capacity of many organisms is seriously challenged by human-imposed environmental change, which currently happens at unprecedented rates and magnitudes. For migratory fish, habitat fragmentation is a major challenge that can compromise their survival and reproduction. Therefore, it is important to study if fish populations can adapt to...
Article
Lateral preference is a widespread organizational principle in human and nonhuman animals. In humans, the most apparent lateralized trait (handedness) is unique in the animal kingdom because of a very pronounced bias towards right-handedness on a population level. In this study, based on previous experiments, we test the hypothesis that this bias w...
Article
Brain lateralization is a fundamental aspect of the organization of brain and behavior in the animal kingdom, begging the question about its Darwinian function. We tested the possibility that lateralization enhances cognitive performance in single- and dual-tasks. Previous studies reported mixed results on this topic and only a handful of studies h...
Article
Full-text available
Ocklenburg et al. (2020, Laterality 2020: Entering the next decade. Laterality) provided the field of laterality research with a stimulating research perspective for the coming decade, based on the current state of the art in both animal and human laterality research. Although this is paper takes many different approaches of laterality into account...
Article
Full-text available
Competing theories have posited roles for foetal androgen exposure in the development of human handedness. However, due to practical and ethical considerations, few studies have used hormonal measures to examine this possibility. The current paper reviews this literature and reveals a generally inconsistent pattern of results. We also present data...
Article
Full-text available
Maternal thyroid hormones (THs) are known to be crucial in embryonic development in humans, but their influence on other, especially wild, animals remains poorly understood. So far, the studies that experimentally investigated the consequences of maternal THs focused on short-term effects, while early organisational effects with long-term consequen...
Article
Hormones transferred from mothers to their offspring are considered a maternal tool to prepare progeny for expected environmental conditions, increasing maternal and offspring fitness. To flexibly influence offspring, mothers should be able to transmit the hormonal signals independent of their own hormonal status. However, the ability to regulate h...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many plants and animals adaptively downsize the number of already-produced propagules if resources become insufficient to raise all of them. In birds, mothers often induce hatching asynchrony by incubating first eggs before last eggs are laid, creating an age/size hierarchy within broods which selectively eliminates the smallest chicks in poor food...
Article
Hormones transferred from mothers to their offspring are thought to be a tool for mothers to prepare their progeny for expected environmental conditions, thus increasing fitness. Thyroid hormones (THs) are crucial across vertebrates for embryonic and postnatal development and metabolism. Yet yolk THs have mostly been ignored in the context of hormo...
Article
Full-text available
Parasites may have strong eco‐evolutionary interactions with their hosts. Consequently, they may contribute to host diversification. The radiation of cichlid fish in Lake Victoria provides a good model to study the role of parasites in the early stages of speciation. We investigated patterns of macroparasite infection in a community of 17 sympatric...
Article
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Vertebrates evolved in concert with bacteria and have developed essential mutualistic relationships. Gut bacteria are vital for the postnatal development of most organs and the immune and metabolic systems and may likewise play a role during prenatal development. Prenatal transfer of gut bacteria is shown in four mammalian species, including humans...
Article
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Ecological speciation is facilitated when divergent adaptation has direct effects on selective mating. Divergent sensory adaptation could generate such direct effects, by mediating both ecological performance and mate selection. In aquatic environments, light attenuation creates distinct photic environments, generating divergent selection on visual...
Article
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Exposure of yolk androgens can positively stimulate chick growth and competitive ability, but may negatively affect immunity. It has been hypothesized that only chicks from immunologically superior fathers can bear the cost of prenatal exposure to high androgen levels. To test this hypothesis, we paired roosters from two selection lines, one up- an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Animals' life-history traits vary largely along many continuums across species and several physiological parameters have been proposed as possible mediators that drive the life-history variation, such as metabolic rates, glucocorticoids, and oxidative stress. Interestingly, thyroid hormones (THs), despite closely interacting with these physiologica...
Preprint
Full-text available
Maternal thyroid hormones (THs) are known to play a crucial role in embryonic development in humans, but their influence on other, especially wild, animals remains poorly understood. So far, the studies that experimentally investigated the consequences of maternal THs focused on short-term effects, while also long-term organisational (or programmin...
Article
Several studies show that avian females prefer males based on their secondary sexual ornaments and dominance status. We tested in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) how comb size affected the result of fighting and how the dominance status related to testosterone concentrations in their circulation and ejaculates. We subsequently tested how social stat...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure of the vertebrate embryo to maternal hormones can have long-lasting effects on its phenotype, which has been studied extensively by experimentally manipulating maternal steroids, mostly androgens, in bird eggs. Yet, there is a severe lack of understanding of how and when these effects are actually mediated, hampering both underlying proxim...
Article
Full-text available
A remarkable feature of human handedness at the population level is specialization of the hands, the right hand performing usually better than the left. This specialization might have an evolutionary advantage, because it provides the individual and population with a wider range of skill. We therefore investigated the relationships between hand ski...
Article
Full-text available
Maternal effects can adaptively modulate offspring developmental trajectories in variable but predictable environments. Hormone synthesis is sensitive to environmental factors, and maternal hormones are thus a powerful mechanism to transfer environmental cues to the next generation. Birds have become a key model for the study of hormone-mediated ma...
Article
Full-text available
When different genotypes choose different habitats to better match their phenotypes, genetic differentiation within a population may be promoted. Mating within those habitats may subsequently contribute to reproductive isolation. In cichlid fish, visual adaptation to alternative visual environments is hypothesized to contribute to speciation. Here,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Hormones transferred from mothers to their offspring are thought to be a maternal tool for mothers to prepare their progeny for expected environmental conditions, thus increasing fitness. Thyroid hormones (THs) are crucial across vertebrates for embryonic and post-natal development and metabolism. Nevertheless, the studies that investigated the con...
Article
Full-text available
Several studies show effects of yolk androgens in avian eggs on the phenotype of the offspring. Yolk hormone concentrations decline strongly within the first few days of incubation. Although early embryonic uptake of yolk androgens is suggested by the presence of radioactivity in the embryo when eggs are injected with radiolabelled androgens, these...
Preprint
When different genotypes choose different habitats to better match their phenotypes, adaptive differentiation within a population may be promoted. Mating within those habitats may subsequently contribute to reproductive isolation. In cichlid fish, visual adaptation to alternative visual environments is hypothesised to contribute to speciation. Here...
Article
Vertebrate embryos are exposed to maternal hormones that can profoundly affect their later phenotype. Although it is known that the embryo can metabolize these maternal hormones, the metabolic outcomes, their quantitative dynamics and timing are poorly understood. Moreover, it is unknown whether embryos can adjust their metabolic activity to, for e...
Article
Full-text available
Maternal hormones deposited in the egg can provide a powerful model for the study of maternal effects. The differential amount of maternal hormones in the yolk of freshly laid eggs is assumed to represent differential maternal allocation. However, some evidence suggests that these amounts do not reflect maternal allocation that in fact takes place...
Article
Animal personality traits emerge developmentally from the interaction of genetic and early environmental factors. Maternal hormones, such as androgens (testosterone, T and androstenedione, A4), transferred to embryos and egg yolks may simultaneously organize multiple behavioural and physiological traits. Although previous studies demonstrated an as...
Article
Early-life food conditions can have profound impact on adult behavioural performance. In song birds, early-life food conditions affect adult physiology and cognitive performance such as song learning and spatial learning. However, effects on reproductive behaviour other than song, such as visual courtship display, pair formation, and egg laying, wh...
Chapter
Steroid hormones have been proposed to influence the development of lateralization of brain and behavior. We briefly describe the available hypotheses explaining this influence. These are all based on human data. However, experimental testing is almost exclusively limited to other animal models. As a consequence, different research fields investiga...
Article
Recent studies on birds have shown that offspring begging and parental provisioning covary at the phenotypic level, which is thought to reflect genetic correlations. However, prenatal maternal factors, like yolk testosterone, may also facilitate parent-offspring coadaptation via their effects on offspring begging and development. In fact, maternal...
Article
Identifying the selective forces that initiate ecological speciation is a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Sensory drive has been implicated in speciation in various taxa, largely based on phenotype-environment correlations and signatures of selection in sensory genes. Here, we present a reciprocal transplant experiment revealing species di...
Article
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Local adaptation can be a potent force in speciation, with environmental heterogeneity leading to niche specialization and population divergence. However, local adaption often requires non-random mating in order to generate reproductive isolation. Population divergence in sensory properties can be particularly consequential in speciation, affecting...
Article
Thyroid hormones (THs) – triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) – are essential for embryonic development in vertebrates. All vertebrate embryos are exposed to THs from maternal origin. As maternal TH levels are known to be essential to embryonic development, the natural variation of maternal THs probably represents a pathway of maternal effects...
Article
De linker- en de rechterhemisfeer van de hersenen zijn grotendeels symmetrisch, maar er zijn subtiele verschillen in anatomie en functie. Ze communiceren met elkaar, onder andere via de hersenbalk, het corpus callosum. Algemeen bekend is dat bij de meeste mensen de linkerhemisfeer gespecialiseerd is voor taalverwerking en de rechterhemisfeer voor d...
Article
Full-text available
Maternal reproductive investment can critically influence offspring phenotype, and thus these maternal effects are expected to be under strong natural selection. Knowledge on the extent of heritable variation in the physiological mechanisms underlying maternal effects is however limited. In birds, resource allocation to eggs is a key mechanism for...
Article
Full-text available
In many animal species, mothers expose their embryos to maternal hormones. This provides a powerful pathway for affecting offspring phenotype and a potential mechanism for adaptive nongenomic inheritance. This has been studied extensively in birds because the embryo develops outside the mother's body, facilitating experimental studies. Some studies...
Article
Global warming has substantially changed the environment, but the mechanisms to cope with these changes in animals, including the role of maternal effects, are poorly understood. Maternal effects via hormones deposited in eggs, have important environment-dependent effects on offspring development and fitness: thus females are expected to adjust the...
Article
Maternal effects are a crucial mechanism in a wide array of taxa to generate phenotypic variation, thereby affecting offspring development and fitness. Maternally derived thyroid hormones (THs) are known to be essential for offspring development in mammalian and fish models, but have been largely neglected in avian studies, especially in respect to...
Article
Full-text available
In oviparous species like birds, eggs provide the direct environment in which embryos are developing. Mothers may adjust different egg components in different ways in reaction to environmental cues either to adjust offspring development or because of constraints. In this study, we investigated the effects of food quality and quantity before and dur...
Data
Appendix S1. Macronutrient components of grain mixtures in food treatment.
Data
Appendix S2. Data of food and egg quality in pigeons.
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing attention for integrating mechanistic and functional approaches to the study of (behavioural) development. As environments are mostly unstable, it is now often assumed that genetic parental information is in many cases not sufficient for offspring to become optimally adapted to the environment and that early environmental cues,...
Article
Melanin-based plumage ornaments have been shown to play an important role in male-male competition, but also to influence inter-sexual communication. Consequently, ornaments may be associated with reproductive effort of both males and females. Females mated to males with larger melanin ornaments may acquire access to better territories or benefit f...
Article
In birds, mothers can affect their offspring's phenotype and thereby survival via egg composition. It is not well known to what extent and time-scales environmental variation in resource availability, either via resource constrains or adaptive adjustment to predicted rearing conditions, influences maternal effects. We experimentally studied whether...
Article
Female birds have been shown to manipulate offspring sex ratio. However, mechanisms of sex ratio bias are not well understood. Reduced feed availability and change in body condition can affect the mass of eggs in birds which could lead to skew in sex ratio. We employed feed restriction in laying chickens (Gallus gallus) to induce a decrease in body...
Article
Full-text available
It is well established that in many avian species, prenatal maternal resource allocation varies both between and within clutches and may affect offspring fitness. Differential allocation of maternal resources, in terms of egg weight and yolk composition, may therefore allow the female to adjust brood reduction and to fine-tune reproductive investme...
Article
Full-text available
The vitamin A-redox hypothesis provides an explanation for honest signaling of phenotypic quality by carotenoid-dependent traits. A key aspect of the vitamin A-redox hypothesis, applicable to both yellow and red coloration, is the hypothesized negative feedback of tightly regulated Vitamin A plasma levels on the enzyme responsible for sequestering...
Article
Resources and cues provided by the mother before birth are important mediators of developmental plasticity. It has been suggested that the adaptive value of such prenatal maternal effects may depend on the environment encountered by the offspring after birth, and that offspring may perform better when environmental conditions encountered by the mot...
Article
Maternal hormones are important mediators of prenatal maternal effects. Although many experimental studies have demonstrated their potency in shaping offspring phenotypes, we know remarkably little about their adaptive value. Using long-term data on a wild collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) population, we show that natural selection acts in...
Article
Animal personalities are by definition stable over time, but to what extent they may change during development and in adulthood to adjust to environmental change is unclear. Animals of temperate environments have evolved physiological and behavioural adaptations to cope with the cyclic seasonal changes. This may also result in changes in personalit...
Article
Full-text available
Colorful plumage, complex mating displays, fights for territories. Many of these hallmark features of the vertebrate breeding season are mediated by testosterone (T), the gonadal steroid hormone that supports competition for mates or resources before and during reproduction. T has been measured extensively in birds, partly because of the wealth of...
Article
Full-text available
Severe feather pecking (SFP) in commercial laying hens is a maladaptive behavior which is associated with anxiety traits. Many experimental studies have shown that stress in the parents can affect anxiety in the offspring, but until now these effects have been neglected in addressing the problem of SFP in commercially kept laying hens. We therefore...
Article
In various studies chronic elevation of corticosterone levels in female birds under natural or experimental conditions resulted in female biased offspring sex ratios. In chicken, one study with injected corticosterone resulted in a male sex ratio bias. In the current study, we chronically elevated blood plasma corticosterone levels through corticos...
Article
Full-text available
To compete for parental food deliveries nestling birds have evolved diverse behaviors such as begging displays and sibling aggression. Testosterone has been suggested to be an important mechanism orchestrating such competitive be-haviors, but evidence is scarce and often indirect. Siblicidal species provide an interesting case in which a clear domi...