Austin Truong

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The loser effect is a phenomenon that occurs when an individual who loses an aggressive encounter with a conspecific has an increased probability of losing future encounters. Behaviors associated with the loser effect include self-isolation, avoidance, and submissiveness, eventually leading to a shutdown of physical activity. Cycloheximide (CHX) is a protein synthesis inhibitor often used in behavioral experiments to test longterm memory. The losers of aggressive competition were tested for their response under the effects of CHX. We exposed male broad horned flour beetles who recently lost a male-male competition to CHX for 16 hours. Following treatment, we retested these "loser" beetles. Typically, males of this species can display loser effects for up to 4 days after losing contests. However, our preliminary results show that losers treated with CHX do not display the typical loser behaviors. Our results suggest that CHX blocks the synthesis of proteins that perpetuate loser behaviors.

Publication Date






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