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Dr. Daniela Beiderbeck


Research between 2005 - 2013

Aggressive and violent behaviors are a major social problem in human society. However, animal models for studying aggressive behavior and underlying neurobiological mechanisms are limited. I aim at developing suitable animal models, at understanding the complex neurobiological background and studying the regulation of aggression and abnormal forms of aggression. Furthermore, I aim at investigating how genetic and environmental factors lead to an increase in aggression and/or change in other social/emotional behaviors.

Research topics:

  • Animal model: Is there a link between aggression and anxiety? How do they influence each other?
  • Which neuropeptide systems are involved in the regulation of aggression and abnormal aggression? And which brain regions are involved?
  • Can abnormal/high aggression be driven by an activation of the brain reward system? In other words: Is it rewarding for some individuals to be aggressive? What is the difference to individuals that do not show abnormal/high aggression?
  • Rats observing aggression – do they show behavioral changes? Which brain regions, neuropeptides and hormones are involved?

Two Wistar rat lines that are bred for low (LAB) or high (HAB) anxiety-related behavior as well as non-selected Wistar rats with an intermediate anxiety level are used. Both LAB and HAB male rats show a higher level of aggression and abnormal aggression compared with non-selected Wistar rats, which have a low level of aggression and only rarely show abnormal aggressive behaviors like attacking vulnerable attack targets, females or narcotized male rats.


  • Behavioral analysis: resident-intruder test, social discrimination test, elevated plus-maze, social preference test, play fighting, observed aggression
  • Microdialysis and manipulation by inverse microdialysis
  • Local injections in respective brain regions
  •  In situ hybridization, receptor autoradiography

Field of responsibility

Breeding of two rat lines selected for low (LAB) or high (HAB) anxiety-related behavior.



2009 to date

Post-doctoral researcher in Prof. Neumann's lab at the University of Regensburg


PhD-Student in the lab of Prof. Inga Neumann in Regensburg


MSc (Diplom) in biology at the University of Regensburg (Diploma/Master thesis: "The influence of vasopressin and the inborn level of anxiety on aggression in male Wistar rats [Rattus norvegicus]")

2002 - 2005

Graduate studies in biology at the University of Regensburg with focus on Zoology (Behav. Neuroendocrinology)


Undergraduate studies in biology at the University of Regensburg


Born on April 25th in Regensburg, Germany




Beiderbeck DI, Reber SO, Havasi A, Bredewold R, Veenema AH, Neumann ID. High and abnormal forms of aggression in rats with extremes in trait anxiety - Involvement of the dopamine system in the nucleus accumbens. Psychoneuroendocrinology (2012), In Press; dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.04.011


Neumann ID, Veenema AH, Beiderbeck DI. Aggression and anxiety: social context and neurobiological links. Front Behav Neurosci. 2010 Mar 30;4:12

Veenema AH, Beiderbeck DI, Lukas M, Neumann ID. Distinct correlations of vasopressin release within the lateral septum and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis with the display of intermale aggression. Horm Behav. 2010 Jul;58(2):273-81. Epub 2010 Mar 15

Bosch OJ, Pförtsch J, Beiderbeck DI, Landgraf R, Neumann ID. Maternal behaviour is associated with vasopressin release in the medial preoptic area and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the rat. J Neuroendocrinol. 2010 May;22(5):420-9. Epub 2010 Feb 12


Wiehager S, Beiderbeck DI, Gruber SH, El-Khoury A, Wamsteeker J, Neumann ID, Petersén A, Mathé AA. Increased levels of cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript in two animal models of depression and anxiety. Neurobiol Dis. 2009 May;34(2):375-80. Epub 2009 Feb 27


Beiderbeck DI, Neumann ID, Veenema AH. Differences in intermale aggression are accompanied by opposite vasopressin release patterns within the septum in rats bred for low and high anxiety. Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Dec;26(12):3597-605. Epub 2007 Dec 4

Jochum T, Boettger MK, Wigger A, Beiderbeck D, Neumann ID, Landgraf R, Sauer H, Bär KJ. Decreased sensitivity to thermal pain in rats bred for high anxiety-related behaviour is attenuated by citalopram or diazepam treatment. Behav Brain Res. 2007 Oct 1;183(1):18-24. Epub 2007 May 24.

Veenema AH, Torner L, Blume A, Beiderbeck DI, Neumann ID. Low inborn anxiety correlates with high intermale aggression: Link to ACTH response and neuronal activation of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. Horm Behav, 51:11-19


Bosch O, Meddle S, Beiderbeck DI, Douglas AJ, Neumann ID. Brain oxytocin regulates maternal aggression. J Neurosci. 2005 Jul 20;25(29):6807-15

  1. Fakultäten
  2. Fakultät für Biologie und Vorklinische Medizin

Dr. Daniela Beiderbeck