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15th Symposium of the Center for Neuroendocrine Studies University of Massachusetts, Amherst

The Center for Neuroendocrine Studies at UMass, Amherst would like to announce our 15th Symposium entitled, "Promiscuous Molecules: Hormones, Immunity, and Evolution in the Brain" which will take place on Saturday, September 26th, 2015.
Call for applications for Poster Awards at the SBN annual meeting - deadline May 25

Poster Award applications are limited to presenters that conducted the research as undergraduate or graduate students...

Welcome from the President

SBN President Cheryl Sisk.

Welcome to the website of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (SBN). Since 1996, the SBN has been promoting intellectual exchanges between scientists who have interests in the interactions of the nervous system and the endocrine system on behavior and in the influences of behavior and the environment on neuroendocrine systems. We are an inclusive society with a very diverse membership. Our members are interested in quite an array of behaviors – reproductive behavior, parental behaviors, social behaviors, eating and drinking, responses to stressors, learning and memory, aggression and more, as well as mental health. We are interested in a wide range of species, from simple organisms, like c. elegans to humans and everything in between. We are interested in interactions at the molecular, cellular, and organismic/behavioral level of investigation. We work in laboratories, as well as in the field. Many of our members study natural behaviors, which in turn shed light on behavioral disorders, which often have strong neuroendocrine components. This rich mixture of ideas and approaches can be seen in the Society’s journal, Hormones and Behavior , and can be enjoyed at our vibrant, annual meetings.

Upcoming Meetings

Become a Member of the SBN

The Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology offers four levels of eligibility for prospective members: Regular, Emeritus, Student, or Associate Memberships.

To see which membership class you qualify for, please review the membership eligibility requirements.

For additional information on SBN and the rules of membership, please see the SBN Bylaws.

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Elected Officers

PRESIDENT (2013-2015) Cheryl Sisk

PRESIDENT-ELECT (2013-2015) Elizabeth Adkins-Regan

PAST PRESIDENT (2013-2015) Jeffrey Blaustein

SECRETARY (2013-2015) Zuoxin Wang

TREASURER (2013-2016) Nancy Forger

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Hormones and Behavior

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Publication date: June 2015
Source:Hormones and Behavior, Volume 72

Author(s): Konstantin Bloch , Irit Gil-Ad , Igor Tarasenko , Alexey Vanichkin , Michal Taler , Shay Henry Hornfeld , Pnina Vardi , Abraham Weizman

The treatment of rodents with non-competitive antagonist of the N-Methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, MK-801 (dizocilpine), induces symptoms of psychosis, deficits in spatial memory and impairment of synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have suggested that insulin administration might attenuate the cognitive dysfunctions through the modulatory effect on the expression of NMDA receptors and on the brain insulin signaling. Intrahepatic pancreatic islet transplantation is known as an efficient tool for correcting impaired insulin signaling. We examined the capacity of syngeneic islets grafted into the cranial subarachnoid cavity to attenuate behavioral dysfunctions in rats exposed to MK-801. Animals were examined in the open field (OF) and the Morris Water Maze (MWM) tests following acute or subchronic administration of MK-801. We found well-vascularized grafted islets expressing insulin, glucagon and somatostatin onto the olfactory bulb and prefrontal cortex. Significantly higher levels of insulin were detected in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of transplanted animals compared to the non-transplanted rats. All animals expressed normal peripheral glucose homeostasis for two months after transplantation. OF tests revealed that rats exposed to MK-801 treatment, showed hyper-responsiveness in motility parameters and augmented center field exploration compared to intact controls and these effects were attenuated by the grafted islets. Moreover, in the MWM, the rats treated with MK-801 showed impairment of spatial memory that were partially corrected by the grafted islets. In conclusion, intracranial islet transplantation leads to the expression of islet hormones in the brain and attenuates behavioral and cognitive dysfunctions in rats exposed to MK-801 administration without altering the peripheral glucose homeostasis.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Publication date: June 2015
Source:Hormones and Behavior, Volume 72

Author(s): Sarah A. Kromrey , Paul W. Czoty , Michael A. Nader

Preclinical research has demonstrated that cognitive function may be influenced by estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) concentrations, although few cognition studies involve normally cycling females. The present study examined cognitive performance in normally cycling female cynomolgus macaques (n=14), a species with similarities to humans in brain organization and a nearly identical menstrual cycle to women. Initial assessments compared cognitive measures to circulating concentrations of E2 and P4 (n=12). Once a relationship was characterized between hormones and cognitive performance, the menstrual cycle was divided into four distinct phases: early follicular (EF), late follicular (LF), early luteal (EL) and late luteal (LL), verified by the onset of menses and serum concentrations of E2 and P4. Concentrations of E2 were highest during the LF phase and P4 concentrations peaked during the EL phase. All monkeys were trained on two cognitive tasks: reversal learning, involving simple discrimination (SD) and reversal (SDR), which measured associative learning and behavioral flexibility, respectively (n=3–4 per phase) and a delayed match-to-sample (DMS) task which assessed working memory (n=11). P4 concentrations were positively correlated with number of trials and errors during acquisition of SD performance, but not during acquisition of the SDR task or maintenance of the reversal-learning task. Across the menstrual cycle, significantly fewer errors were made in the SDR task during the LF phase, when E2 concentrations were high and P4 concentrations low. Working memory, assessed with the DMS task, was not consistently altered based on previously characterized menstrual cycle phases. These findings demonstrate a relationship between P4, E2 and cognitive performance in normally cycling cynomolgus monkeys that is task dependent. Knowledge of these interactions may lead to a better understanding of sex-specific cognitive performance.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Publication date: June 2015
Source:Hormones and Behavior, Volume 72

Author(s): Megan M. Johnson , Amy Mikolajewski , Elizabeth A. Shirtcliff , Lisa A. Eckel , Jeanette Taylor

Previous research has demonstrated that psychopathic personality traits are significantly predictive of blunted cortisol reactivity to a performance-based stressor task (Trier Social Stress Test; TSST) in college students. However, the relationship between cortisol reactivity and psychopathy has not been explored in high risk samples such as incarcerated populations. Further, the role of imprisonment in relation to cortisol stress reactivity has not been previously explored, but could have practical and conceptual consequences in regard to rehabilitation and biological sensitivity to context, respectively. The current study tested the hypotheses that both psychopathic personality traits and amount of time incarcerated are related to cortisol blunting in response to stress among incarcerated young adults. A sample of 49 young adult male offenders was recruited to complete the TSST. Salivary hormone samples were taken just prior to and 20min post-stressor, and participants were interviewed with the Psychopathy Checklist-Youth Version. Variables quantifying the amount of time at the present facility prior to the date of testing and number of commitments in juvenile facilities were also collected. Correlational analyses indicated that only number of incarcerations was related to blunted cortisol. Hierarchical Linear Modeling revealed that time incarcerated and number of commitments were related to a blunted cortisol response among responders and declining cortisol reactivity among nonresponders, respectively. Controlling for time incarcerated, psychopathic traits were significantly related to cortisol decline in response to the stressor among nonresponders, but were not related to blunted cortisol among responders. Results of this project highlight the potential biological effects of prolonged and repeated incarcerations, and extend our understanding about the relationship between psychopathic traits and cortisol reactivity in an incarcerated sample.

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