Latest News

2015 Election Results

Congratulations to President-Elect Rae Silver and Secretary Colin J. Saldanha.

Nominations for the Lehrman, Beach, and Young Awards are now being accepted. The deadline for nominations is September 15, 2015.

Welcome from the President

SBN President Cheryl Sisk.

I am delighted and honored to be your new President. SBN is a wonderful organization that provides significant benefits to its members. I look forward to helping the society meet your interests and needs in science and professional development, and I encourage you to share your ideas about how SBN can best serve you.

—Elizabeth Adkins-Regan

Upcoming Meetings

Become a Member of the SBN

The Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology offers four levels of eligibility for prospective members: Regular, Emeritus, Student, or Associate Memberships.

To see which membership class you qualify for, please review the membership eligibility requirements.

For additional information on SBN and the rules of membership, please see the SBN Bylaws.

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Elected Officers

PRESIDENT (2015-2017) Elizabeth Adkins-Regan

PRESIDENT-ELECT (2015-20175) Rae Silver

PAST PRESIDENT (2015-2017) Cheryl Sisk

SECRETARY (2015-2017) Colin John Saldanha

TREASURER (2013-2016) Nancy Forger

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Hormones and Behavior

Monday, July 27, 2015
Publication date: Available online 26 July 2015
Source:Hormones and Behavior

Author(s): Christina M. Ragan, Kaitlyn M. Harding, Joseph S. Lonstein

The effects of differential maternal care received on offspring phenotype in rodents has been extensively studied between litters, but the consequences of differential mothering within litters on offspring neurobehavioral development have been rarely examined. We here investigated how variability in maternal care received among female rat siblings (measured four times daily on postnatal days 4, 6, 8, and 10) relates to the siblings’ later emotional and maternal behaviors. As previously reported, we found that some female pups received up to three times more maternal licking bouts compared to their sisters; this difference was positively correlated with the pups’ body weights. The number of maternal licking bouts females received was negatively correlated with their later neophobic behaviors in an open field during periadolescence, but positively correlated with their anxiety-related behavior in an elevated plus maze during adulthood. Licking received was also positively correlated with females’ later likelihood to retrieve pups in a maternal sensitization paradigm. In addition, females’ neophobia during adolescence and anxiety-related behavior during adulthood predicted some aspects of both postpartum and sensitized maternal responsiveness. Medial prefrontal cortex expression of tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2; enzyme necessary for serotonin synthesis) was negatively associated with early maternal licking received. Interestingly, cortical TPH2 was positively associated with the maternal responsiveness of sensitized virgins but negatively associated with it in postpartum females. These results indicate that within-litter differences in maternal care received is an often neglected, but important, contributor to individual differences in offspring socioemotional behaviors and the cortical serotonin neurochemistry that may influence these behaviors.

Monday, July 27, 2015
Publication date: Available online 26 July 2015
Source:Hormones and Behavior

Author(s): Carolyn M. Bauer, Loren D. Hayes, Luis A. Ebensperger, Juan Ramírez-Estrada, Cecilia León, Garrett T. Davis, L. Michael Romero

Maternal stress can significantly affect offspring fitness. In laboratory rodents, chronically stressed mothers provide poor maternal care, resulting in pups with hyperactive stress responses. These hyperactive stress responses are characterized by high glucocorticoid levels in response to stressors plus poor negative feedback, which can ultimately lead to decreased fitness. In degus (Octodon degus) and other plural breeding rodents that exhibit communal care, however, maternal care from multiple females may buffer the negative impact on pups born to less parental mothers. We used wild, free-living degus to test this hypothesis. After parturition, we manipulated maternal stress by implanting cortisol pellets in 0%, 50–75%, or 100% of adult females within each social group. We then sampled pups for baseline and stress-induced cortisol, negative feedback efficacy, and adrenal sensitivity. From groups where all mothers were implanted with cortisol, pups had lower baseline cortisol levels and male pups additionally had weaker negative feedback compared to 0% or 50–75% implanted groups. Contrary to expectations, stress-induced cortisol did not differ between treatment groups. These data suggest that maternal stress impacts some aspects of the pup stress response, potentially through decreased maternal care, but that presence of unstressed mothers may mitigate some of these effects. Therefore, one benefit of plural breeding with communal care may be to buffer post-natal stress.

Monday, July 27, 2015
Publication date: Available online 26 July 2015
Source:Hormones and Behavior

Author(s): Adam N. Perry, C. Sue Carter, Bruce S. Cushing

Sex- and species-specific patterns of estrogen receptor (ER)-α expression are established early in development, which may contribute to sexual differentiation of behavior and determine male social organization. The current study investigated the effects of ERα and ERβ activation during the second postnatal week on subsequent alloparental behavior and ERα expression in juvenile prairie voles. Male and female pups were treated daily with 17β-estradiol (E2, ERα/ERβ agonist), PPT (selective ERα agonist), DPN (selective ERβ agonist), or the oil vehicle on postnatal days (PD) 8–14. Alloparental behavior and ERα expression were examined at PD21. PPT treatment inhibited prosocial motivation in males and increased pup-directed aggression in both sexes. E2 and DPN had no apparent effect on behavior in either sex. PPT-treated males had increased ERα expression in the medial preoptic area (MPN), medial amygdala (MEApd) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTpr). DPN treatment also increased ERα expression in males, but only in the BSTpr. Female ERα expression was unaffected by treatment. These results support the hypothesis that ERα activation in early life is associated with less prosocial patterns of central ERα expression and alloparental behavior in males. The lack of an effect of E2 on behavior suggests that ERβ may antagonize the effects of ERα on alloparental behavior. The results in DPN-treated males suggest that ERα in the MEApd, and not the BSTpr, may be a primary determinant of alloparental behavior in males.

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