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Social transmission of maternal behavior via oxytocin and synaptic plasticity - Robert Froemke

June 7, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Clark Center Auditorium

Social transmission of maternal behavior via oxytocin and synaptic plasticity

Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Seminar Series, Robert Froemke

Robert Froemke, PhD

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Neuroscience & Physiology,
Skirball Institute, Neuroscience Institute, NYU School of Medicine;
Center for Neural Science, NYU

Host: Eddy Albarran (Ding Lab)


Oxytocin is important for social interactions and maternal behavior. However, little is known about when, where, and how oxytocin modulates neural circuits to improve social cognition. Here I will discuss recent results and unpublished data from our lab on how oxytocin enables maternal behavior in new mother mice. I will focus on experience-dependent plasticity in auditory cortex and hypothalamus related to recognizing the significance of pup distress calls, which are important for mother mice retrieving lost pups back to the nest. Surprisingly, this behavior, neural responses, and oxytocin receptor expression were lateralized to the left side of the auditory cortex, perhaps similar to the lateralization of language abilities in humans. I will also describe a new system we have built to combine continuous days-to-weeks-long neural recordings from the auditory cortex and oxytocin neurons of the hypothalamus in vivo, synchronized with continuous audio-video monitoring of homecage behavior to identify when oxytocin release and cortical plasticity might occur during natural social and maternal experience.

Curriculum Vitae

Related papers

[1] Marlin BJ, Mitre M, D'amour JA, Chao MV, Froemke RC. Oxytocin enables maternal behaviour by balancing cortical inhibition. Nature. 2015 Apr 23;520(7548):499-504. doi:10.1038/nature14402

[2] Kuchibhotla KV, Gill JV, Lindsay GW, Papadoyannis ES, Field RE, Sten TA, Miller KD, Froemke RC. Parallel processing by cortical inhibition enables context-dependent behavior. Nat Neurosci. 2017 Jan;20(1):62-71.  doi:10.1038/nn.4436

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