Purpose and Mission
The Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (SBN) is an interdisciplinary scientific organization dedicated to the study of hormonal processes and neuroendocrine systems that regulate behavior. This focus is unique among professional societies, thus SBN’s annual meetings and its journal Hormones and Behavior provide vital forums for the integration of ideas across the field of behavioral neuroendocrinology. This integration occurs on multiple fronts and spans all levels of biological organization, from molecular to organismal. SBN members conduct research on myriad organisms across a diversity of contexts, including field-based investigations of animals in their natural habitats, laboratory research on important model systems, and clinical research on a variety of topics directly related to human health. Our work is supported by numerous agencies, which include the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), equivalent agencies outside of the U.S., and other governmental programs and private foundations. This wide array of funding sources reflects the fact that SBN serves as an “information conduit” along the continuum of basic and applied science. Indeed, many SBN members conduct research over a broad range of this continuum, and receive funding from both NSF and NIH (or their equivalents).
Our understanding of biological processes and the development of medical interventions depend greatly upon basic research. Integrative organizations such as SBN therefore play an essential role in the scientific process. Indeed, there are many examples demonstrating how our basic research in behavioral neuroendocrinology has yielded insights into issues of substantial importance to humans. For instance, by elucidating the neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate basic patterns of activity in rodents and other animals, SBN members paved the way for important advances in the clinical treatment of insomnia. Research into the hormonal regulation of behavior in songbirds has yielded seminal insights into neural plasticity (including the generation of new neurons in the adult brain), and has profoundly influenced our understanding of the relationship between testosterone and aggression. Studies on the endocrinology of social stress in wild animals have led to changes in the clinical treatment of stroke, yielding significant benefits for victims. These examples are just a small sample of the work that SBN researchers do. In fact, studies by SBN members have produced much of what we now know about sexual development, mother-infant bonding, reproductive biology, endocrine influences on human cognition and aging, stress effects on immune function, and far more. SBN is proud of the achievements our members, and proud to serve the public who funds our work.