Oxytocin

Larry Young built bridges with his social neuroscience research

Known for his work bringing oxytocin studies to the mainstream, Young died unexpectedly last month.

By Angie Voyles Askham
10 April 2024 | 7 min read
Photograph of an intimidating lab mouse.
Hypothalamus Microphone

Newly found hypothalamus circuits shape bullying behaviors in mice

Activity in the tiny brain region helps submissive rodents learn to avoid aggressors, and aggressive mice to curb their attacks, according to two recent studies.

By Angie Voyles Askham
5 March 2024 | 6 min listen
Position heatmaps of mice performing a behavioral assay.

New test taps nose pokes as a proxy for social motivation in mice

Over one hour, a particularly motivated mouse poked its nose 350 times into a hole in the test chamber in the hopes of meeting a playmate.

By Holly Barker
10 August 2023 | 5 min read
A photograph of a mouse against a swirly, multi-colored backdrop

Psychedelics give mice second chance to learn social rewards

The drugs may reopen a critical window during development in which the brain can more easily adjust its connections.

By Holly Barker
23 June 2023 | 4 min read
Research image of rodent brain scans.

CRISPR tool rids rodents of oxytocin receptors

The approach provides an “off-the-shelf” way for researchers to compare oxytocin function across species, the team says.

By Angie Voyles Askham
14 June 2023 | 3 min read
Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele looks directly into the camera with a calm expression in a close up shot.
Spectrum Microphone

Swings and misses with Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele

A careful clinician who prizes evidence, Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele is happy to embrace trial failures, as long as he learns from them.

By Peter Hess
30 May 2023 | 13 min read
Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results.
Spectrum Microphone

Null and Noteworthy: Arbaclofen results; another oxytocin edition

New data from clinical trials of arbaclofen and oxytocin underscore the murkiness of null results. Plus, researchers seek clarity on the neurodevelopmental effects of oxytocin during childbirth.

By Laura Dattaro
17 May 2023 | 4 min read
Mother and child rhesus macaque monkeys.

Serotonin initiates earliest social bonds

Mice and rats, for example, gravitate toward their mother’s bedding over bedding that is clean or smells of a different dam.

By Angie Voyles Askham
2 March 2023 | 5 min read
Two adult prairie voles snuggle.

‘Mind-blowing’ study upends conventional wisdom on oxytocin

CRISPR-edited prairie voles that lack receptors for the so-called “social hormone” still bond with their mate and pups, raising questions about the molecule’s role.

By Angie Voyles Askham
27 January 2023 | 7 min listen
A white mouse sits on a nest against a blue background.

Mouse models help sniff out olfactory differences in autism

A range of presentations at Neuroscience 2022 tie atypical social behavior to trouble discriminating between odors in the animals.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
16 November 2022 | 5 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Brain organoids overgrowth; DSCAM gene; sleep issues in autism

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 24 June.

By Jill Adams
25 June 2024 | 2 min read
Close-up image of a dead fly with visible growths protruding from its abdomen due to Entomophthora fungus infection.

Mind control in zombie flies: Q&A with Carolyn Elya

A parasitic fungus compels its insect host to behave in strange ways by hijacking secretory neurons and circadian pathways.

By Shaena Montanari
25 June 2024 | 5 min read
Illustration of a canyon landscape with an orange clock face in place of a sun.

How to teach this paper: ‘Behavioral time scale synaptic plasticity underlies CA1 place fields,’ by Bittner and Milstein et al. (2017)

Katie Bittner, Aaron Milstein and their colleagues found that cellular learning can happen over longer timescales than Hebb’s rule predicts. How long should we wait to teach students about this phenomenon?

By Ashley Juavinett
24 June 2024 | 11 min read