Search Results for: Donald Pfaff

Donald W. Pfaff and Bruce S. McEwen will share 2010 Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize

Donald W. Pfaff and Bruce S. McEwen share the 2010 Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize for their studies on the neuroendocrine control of behavior. The French foundation presents the award to researchers who publish remarkable, pioneering studies. More »

Tags: , , ,

In the News – Huffington Post – Pfaff

Neuroscience Has An Important (But Complicated) Place In The Courtroom   “Rockefeller University neurobiologist Dr. Donald Pfaff explained one way that neuroscience evidence can be important in the courtroom — juries can consider testosterone levels, as high testosterone can cause … More »

Tags: , , , ,

Brains are hardwired to act according to the Golden Rule

Donald Pfaff, the author of the new book The Neuroscience of Fair Play: Why We (Usually) Follow the Golden Rule, proposes a theory that explains why people usually treat each other in a thoughtful and civil manner. Our brains, he says, are hardwired to do unto others as we would have them do unto us — an ethical principle that seems to be present in all cultures throughout the ages. More »

Tags: ,

Understanding Drive: Rockefeller researchers uncover the molecular mechanisms of sexual motivation

For most people, sex is a complicated topic. A new book by RU Professor Donald Pfaff, however, is based on the idea that the primitive, biological side of sex is explainable–at least from a scientific point of view. Pfaff’s lab researches the neurobiological and molecular aspects of sexual motivation. In Drive (MIT Press), he shows that the biological basis for sex drive–one of the most primitive human instincts–is largely explained by mechanisms uncovered in animal brains that have not changed in millions of years of evolution. More »

Tags: ,

Bullying alters brain chemistry, leads to anxiety

Getting kicked around is no fun for anyone, but researchers are finding that it’s not just the body that’s bruised, but the brain, too. New experiments from Rockefeller show that mice that are repeatedly bullied by by dominant males grow unusually anxious around new company, threatening or not. The behavioral change seems to be in part due to a change in gene expression that increases sensitivity to vasopressin, a hormone involved in a variety of social behaviors. More »

Tags: , , ,

In mice, anxiety is linked to immune system

In groundbreaking research that advances the knowledge of how the two most complicated systems in the body are linked, researchers reveal that immune cells in the brain directly influence how mice normally behave in stressful situations. The work is the first ever to genetically link mast cells to anxiety and opens new doors for drugs that target immune cells in the brain to regulate emotions. More »

Tags: ,

Flow of potassium ions in brain cells is key to sexual arousal

Communicating about sex can be tricky. But female rats have got this one covered. If they want a male to mount, they arch their back and deflect their tail in a pronounced swayback posture called lordosis. Now, Rockefeller University scientists have teased apart the chemical and physical mechanism in the brain that controls this behavior, revealing the science behind one of life’s most primitive instincts. More »

Tags: ,

Two forces of arousal converge on the “satiety center” of the brain

The light-dark cycle, under normal conditions, does a pretty good job of regulating mental alertness — animals are typically alert during one part of the cycle and not so alert during the other. New research from Rockefeller University shows how changing the timing of a meal can disrupt these patterns and reveals which regions of the brain are involved. More »

Tags: , , ,

To recognize their friends, mice use their amygdalas

Even those who can’t remember names can usually recall faces. New research from Rockefeller University suggests that a simple brain chemical, a neuropeptide called oxytocin, is a reason. More »

Tags: , ,

Ion channels are key to estrogen’s effect on neurons

Despite being one of the body’s best-studied hormones, there’s still a lot we don’t know about estrogens. Now, by studying how these sex hormones impact brain cells at the biophysical level, scientists at Rockefeller University say they exert their powerful effects on behavior in part by affecting the speed at which ion channels in the cell membrane of a neuron open and close. More »

Tags: ,

In mice, a new statistical analysis shows a sex hormone influences a drive to explore

Exhaustive searching may not guarantee a compatible mate, but that doesn’t stop most people from trying. Now, new research from Rockefeller University suggests that estrogens may be a driving force. More »

Tags: , , ,

New gene-slicing method targets specific areas of the brain

To understand the role any one gene plays in an organism, scientists rely on knockout mice: They breed a mouse that lacks the gene they are interested in, then observe the effects. But a new method which uses viruses and small strands of RNA, developed by Rockefeller University scientists, offers a faster and more effective way to link genes to specific behavior. More »

Tags: , ,

For sex to happen, the right receptors must align

By studying single neurons from the hypothalamus of the brain, Rockefeller scientists are beginning to show how the same hormone receptors can impact sexual behavior differently in male and female rats. The findings suggest that when it comes to controlling behavior, the brain’s genetic network can be extremely complicated. More »

Tags: , ,

“Smartness’ about social life is different from smartness about SAT scores”

What do the brain, ovaries and nose have in common? According to new research from The Rockefeller University, these three organs help orchestrate the complex behavior called social recognition in female mice through the interaction of four genes. More »

Tags: , ,

Ten Science Outreach students reach semifinals of Intel Science Talent Search

Ten out of the 60 high school students who participated in RU’s Science Outreach Program have been named semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search (formerly the Westinghouse Science Talent Search). This program, now in its 59th year, is one of the most prestigious science awards for high school students in the country. More than 70 percent of the former finalists have gone on to earn Ph.D.s or M.D.s; five have won Nobel Prizes. More »

Tags: ,

Study tests the “three-hit” theory of autism

Study tests the “three-hit” theory of autismCould a genetic predisposition to autism together with early stress have a more detrimental effect on boys than on girls? In experiments with mice, researchers found evidence that three factors—genes, environment, and sex—work together to produce problems with social interaction, a hallmark of autism. More »

To recover consciousness, brain activity passes through newly detected states

To recover consciousness, brain activity passes through newly detected statesResearch shows that recovery from deep anesthesia is not a smooth, linear process but is instead a dynamic journey with specific states of activity the brain must temporarily occupy on the way to full recovery. More »

Tags: , , ,

New neuroscience textbook will be a free reference for students in developing countries

The textbook, conceived and edited by Rockefeller University professor Donald W. Pfaff, is a 3,200 page, five-volume overview of both basic science and clinical issues in modern neuroscience, aimed at premedical, medical and graduate students.
More »

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109: 17657-17662 (10-23-12)

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109: 17657-17662 Acute stress and hippocampal histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation, a retrotransposon silencing response Richard G. Hunter, Gen Murakami, Scott Dewell, Ma’ayan Seligsohn, Miriam  E.R. Baker, Nicole A. Datson, Bruce S. … More »

Jeffrey M. Friedman awarded 11th IPSEN Endocrine Regulation Prize

Friedman is being recognized for his groundbreaking discovery of leptin, a hormone that regulates food intake and energy expenditure. His observations provided scientists with a new target for treating obesity and other metabolic diseases.
More »

Tags: , , , ,