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Agonistic Sequences and the Assessment of Opponents in Male Betta splendens

Paul M. Bronstein
The American Journal of Psychology
Vol. 96, No. 2 (Summer, 1983), pp. 163-177
DOI: 10.2307/1422809
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1422809
Page Count: 15
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Agonistic Sequences and the Assessment of Opponents in Male Betta splendens
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Abstract

Three studies showed that the style of attack in Siamese fighting fish depended upon the duration of conspecific visual stimulation. Intense stimulation led some males to engage in long-duration attacks directed at the conspecific image, and it led other males to escape the site of stimulation. Relatively intermittent stimulation produced brief attack followed by escape. These agonistic patterns appear to be components of an opponent-assessment strategy, and these findings contradict a conclusion emerging from an operant analysis of bettas' aggression. These studies also support Hinde's account (1981) of intraspecific communication in agonistic encounters.

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