Is The Prairie Vole a Good Model Species?
Doctor Larry Young describes the prairie vole as an excellent model species because it forms social bonds similar to humans.
I believe that the prairie vole is a wonderful model species because it is one of the few animals that has a constellation of social behaviors which is remarkably similar to our own. Itâ€™s very different from the mouse or the rat or other model species that have traditionally been used. Mice and rats donâ€™t form social bonds, so you canâ€™t study social bonds in those. I really believe that this species which is relatively new to science is going to become a more and more important model, eventually having itâ€™s genome sequenced and developing more tools so that we can do even more sophisticated things. Iâ€™m really committed to making this model become as useful as the mouse. For example, we are able to do genetic manipulations in voles just like we do in mice. I really think that thereâ€™s no limitations to what we can do with the prairie voles. I think that the diversity and behavior that we see in prairie voles just provides an opportunity to understand the social brain, which is just not present in mice or rats.
prairie voles, model, system, genes, social, brain, species, social behavior, larry, young
Doctor Larry Young explains that the genes that encode for vasopressin receptors can predict social behaviors. This intriguing finding makes the link between genes, the brain and behavior.
Doctor Larry Young explains that social personality traits are influenced by levels of oxytocin and vasopressin in the brain.
Doctor Larry Young discusses how vasopressin and oxytocin contribute to the reward system, which can promote behavior such as bonding and drug addiction.
Doctor Larry Young discusses his research with prairie voles and suggests that the same neurobiological processes may underlie drug addiction and bonding.
Doctor Larry Young discusses that he believes there is a biological basis to love.
Doctor Larry Young explains that the experience of being in love activates pleasure centers in the brain, and comments that bonding in prairie voles may be similar to humans.
Doctor Thomas Insel discusses the importance of two neuropeptides - oxytocin and vasopressin - in relation to attachment and social bonding.
Doctor Thomas Insel continues his discussion of the two neuropeptides, vasopressin and oxytocin.
Doctor Larry Young discusses how genes, biochemicals, and the brain interact to form complex social behaviors.
Doctor Larry Young discusses evidence of a relationship between oxytocin and autism, speculating that oxytocin may be used to treat autism.