Date: September 24, 2020. 12:00
Location: Online (webinar)
To attend this webinar please register here.
Title: Neurobiology of Social Behavior
Affiliation: Harvard University
Social interactions are central to the human experience, yet it is also one of the faculty of the brain that is the most impaired by mental illness. Similarly, social interactions are essential for animals to survive, reproduce, and raise their young. Over the years, my lab has attempted to decipher the unique characteristics of social recognition: what are the unique cues that trigger distinct social behaviors, what is the nature and identity of social behavior circuits, how is the function of these circuits different in males and females and how are they modulated by the animal physiological status? In this lecture, I will describe our recent progress in using genetic, imaging, molecular and behavioral approaches to understand how the brain controls specific social behaviors in both males and females, and how areas throughout the brain participate in the positive and negative controls of specific social interactions. I will also describe how new approaches of single cell transcriptomics have enabled us to uncover specific cell populations involved in distinct social behaviors and the basis of their activity modulation according to the animal state.
Bio: Dr. Dulac is the Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Lee and Ezpeleta Professor of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. Dr. Dulac wants to understand the molecular, neuronal, and circuit basis of instinctive social behaviors. Dulac and her team apply molecular, genetic, and optical techniques in their investigations of the social brain, using the mouse as a model organism. Some of the team’s projects include identifying: the neuronal circuits underlying pheromone signaling in mating behaviors; the circuits underlying parental behavior and pup-directed aggression based on the animal’s sex and physiological state; the role of the amygdala in social and defensive behavior; and genomic imprinting in the developing and adult mouse brain.