Stress-induced changes in sleep in rodents: Models and mechanisms

Psychological stressors have a prominent effect on sleep in general, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in particular. Disruptions in sleep are a prominent feature, and potentially even the hallmark, of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Ross, R.J., Ball, W.A., Sullivan, K., Caroff, S., 1989. Sleep disturbance as the hallmark of posttraumatic stress disorder. American Journal […]

The basic neuroscience of emotional experiences in mammals: The case of subcortical FEAR circuitry and implications for clinical anxiety

Evidence from behavioral neuroscience strongly suggests that the unconditional (innate) capacity to experience fear, along with fear-typical patterns of autonomic and behavioral arousal, arise from specific systems of the brain—the most prominent being a FEAR circuit which courses between the central amygdala and the periaqueductal gray of the midbrain. These circuits also mediate the raw […]

Social status differentiates rapid neuroendocrine responses to restraint stress

Male Anolis carolinensis that win aggressive interactions mobilize neuroendocrine responses to social stress more rapidly than defeated lizards. We initially examined temporal patterns of neuroendocrine response to restraint stress in lizards of unknown status, and then investigated whether winning males respond more rapidly to this non-social stressor. Size-matched male pairs interacted to establish social status, […]

The “male effect” in sheep and goats: a review of the respective roles of the two olfactory systems

In sheep and goats, exposure of seasonally anestrous females to sexually active males results in activation of luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion and synchronized ovulation. This phenomenon is named “the male effect” and seems to constitute a major factor in the control of reproductive events. This effect depends mostly on olfactory cues and is largely mimicked […]

The Darwinian concept of stress: benefits of allostasis and costs of allostatic load and the trade-offs in health and disease

Why do we get the stress-related diseases we do? Why do some people have flare ups of autoimmune disease, whereas others suffer from melancholic depression during a stressful period in their life? In the present review possible explanations will be given by using different levels of analysis. First, we explain in evolutionary terms why different […]

Amygdala Size and Hypothalamus Size Predict Social Play Frequency in Nonhuman Primates: A Comparative Analysis Using Independent Contrasts

The amygdala and hypothalamus become sexually differentiated by gonadal hormones giving rise to sexually differentiated behaviors, which include play behavior. Phylogenetic comparative analyses test for relationships between social play and brain structure volumes. Relative volume of the amygdala and hypothalamus correlated with social play, but not nonsocial play, even after controlling for the size of […]

Neurological and stress related effects of shifting obese rats from a palatable diet to chow and lean rats from chow to a palatable diet

Rats exposed to an energy rich, cafeteria diet overeat and become obese. The present experiment examined the neural and behavioural effects of shifting obese rats from this diet to chow and lean rats from chow to the cafeteria diet. Two groups of male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 24) were fed either highly palatable cafeteria […]

Social isolation impairs adult neurogenesis in the limbic system and alters behaviors in female prairie voles

Disruptions in the social environment, such as social isolation, are distressing and can induce various behavioral and neural changes in the distressed animal. We conducted a series of experiments to test the hypothesis that long-term social isolation affects brain plasticity and alters behavior in the highly social prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). In Experiment 1, adult […]

Disruption of cue-potentiated feeding in mice with blocked ghrelin signaling

The peptide hormone ghrelin regulates a variety of eating behaviors. Not only does it potently increase intake of freely-available food, but it also shifts food preference toward diets rich in fat, enhances operant responding for food rewards, and induces conditioned place preference for food rewards. Here, we postulated that ghrelin also enables cue-potentiated feeding, in […]

Changes on auditory physiology in response to the inactivation of amygdala nuclei in high anxiety rats expressing learned fear

Abstract The inferior colliculus (IC) is primarily involved in the processing of acoustic stimuli, including those emitted by prey and predators. The role of the central nucleus of the IC (CIC) in fear and anxiety has been suggested based on electrophysiological, behavioral and immunohistochemical studies. The reactivity of high-anxiety rats (HA) to diverse challenges is […]