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SCSB Colloquium Series: The neurobiology of social isolation
December 6, 2023 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Speaker: Moriel Zelikowsky, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology, University of Utah
Host: Dr. Steve Flavell
Talk title: The neurobiology of social isolation
Abstract: We are social animals. Extended deprivation of social contact can produce deleterious effects on the brain and behavior. Our group works to identify the neural circuit mechanisms which give rise to the internal brain state produced by prolonged social isolation and its impact on survival-related social behaviors. I will present some of our recent work examining the effects of social isolation on mouse courtship behavior and vocal communication using in-depth behavioral and acoustic analyses, machine vision, genetically-targeted cellular perturbations, and in vivo imaging in mice. Collectively, our findings reveal a dramatic disruption of mouse courtship behavior and social communication after isolation, and identify a unique neural signature in the coding of this brain state.