Talk by Prof. Richard Ebstein on “The function of oxytocin and vasopressin in shaping human social behavior” (17 Aug, 4pm, AS7/01-17, Seminar Room B)

Prof. Richard Ebstein

Prof. Richard Ebstein

There will be a departmental talk on 17 Aug (4pm) by Prof. Richard Ebstein. More details are provided below.

Date/Time: 17 August 2010 (Tuesday), 4pm

Venue: AS7/01-17 (Seminar Room B)

Title: The function of oxytocin and vasopressin in shaping human social behavior

From fish to humans, and in many species in between, two nonapeptides, oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP), mold affiliative behaviors between parents and offspring and between conspecifics. In humans both oxytocin and vasopressin are potent modulators of social perception and social behavior. Notably, dysfunctional peptidergic neurotransmission has also been implicated in disorders characterized by social deficits, specifically autism. After presenting a broad overview of the diverse actions of AVP and OT in other species the focus will shift to the actions of these two hormones in humans. Pharmacological, imaging and molecular genetic studies will be discussed that illuminate how these two neuromodulators facilitate important facets of normal and abnormal human social behavior. Finally, I will review some new studies from my own, and other research groups, that underscore how translational science may uncover the therapeutic potential of these neuropeptides in treating diseases of social deficits and decision-making.

About the speaker:
Richard Ebstein’s research revolves around human behavior genetics, with the overarching goal of providing molecular insights into the role of genes as a partial contributor to all facets of human behavior. His work is highly interdisciplinary and combines personality, social, cognitive, and neuropsychology with techniques of molecular genetics. Major research areas include neuroeconomics, and molecular genetic studies of normal personality, altruism, schizophrenia, ADHD, and autism.

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