This month’s featured Researcher is Luke Remage-Healey. He recently received a renewal of $1.7 million grant from NIH to investigate fundamental mechanisms of how the bird brain learns and processes complex stimuli like song. In general, his lab studies how neural circuits for vocal communication are modulated by the actions of local neurochemicals. For example, changing levels of brain estrogens can alter the pattern or ‘tone’ of neural circuit activity, enabling many flexible outputs from the same circuit. They think this modulation allows interconnected forebrain circuits to subserve a wide variety of complex behaviors, like singing, song learning, and song memory. Luke and his student Daniel Vahaba published a paper in the journal Hormones and Behavior that appeared this month in PubMed.
Here’s what else is new for ‘ ”University of Massachusetts” AND Amherst AND neuroscience’ in PubMed. These publications appeared on line in June. They are just a fraction of the research that occurs on campus.
1: Stammen RL, Cohen JK, Meeker TL, Crane MM, Amara RR, Hicks SL, Meyer JS, Ethun KF. Effect of Chronic Social Stress on Prenatal Transfer of Antitetanus Immunity in Captive Breeding Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta). J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci.2018 Jul 1;57(4):357-367. doi: 10.30802/AALAS-JAALAS-17-000102. Epub 2018 May 15. PubMed PMID: 29764539; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6059219.
2: Vahaba DM, Remage-Healey L. Neuroestrogens rapidly shape auditory circuits to support communication learning and perception: Evidence from songbirds. Horm Behav. 2018 Aug;104:77-87. doi:0.1016/j.yhbeh.2018.03.007. Epub 2018 Mar 30. Review. PubMed PMID: 29555375.
3: Vazey EM, den Hartog CR, Moorman DE. Central Noradrenergic Interactions with Alcohol and Regulation of Alcohol-Related Behaviors. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2018;248:239-260. doi: 10.1007/164_2018_108. PubMed PMID: 29687164.
4: Anderson RI, Moorman DE, Becker HC. Contribution of Dynorphin and Orexin Neuropeptide Systems to the Motivational Effects of Alcohol. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2018;248:473-503. doi: 10.1007/164_2018_100. PubMed PMID: 29526023.
5: Sakurai A, Katz PS. Command or obey? Homologous neurons differ in hierarchical position for the generation of homologous behaviors. J Neurosci. 2019 Jun 17. pii: 3229-18. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3229-18.2019. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31209170.
6: Miguel HO, McCormick SA, Westerlund A, Nelson CA. Rapid face processing for positive and negative emotions in 5-, 7-, and 12-month-old infants: An exploratory study. Br J Dev Psychol. 2019 Jun 17. doi: 10.1111/bjdp.12288. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31206778.
7: Nanda P, Inbar T, Bergan JF. Exciting experiences make neurons less excitable. Elife. 2017 Jul 27;6. pii: e29763. doi: 10.7554/eLife.29763. PubMed PMID: 28749341; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5531828.
8: McMain SF, Chapman AL, Kuo JR, Guimond T, Streiner DL, Dixon-Gordon KL, Isaranuwatchai W, Hoch JS. The effectiveness of 6 versus 12-months of dialectical behaviour therapy for borderline personality disorder: the feasibility of a shorter treatment and evaluating responses (FASTER) trial protocol. BMC Psychiatry. 2018 Jul 17;18(1):230. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1802-z. PubMed PMID:30016935; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6050694.