The full press releases are available on the APS Press Room conference website: http://www.the-aps.org/press/conference/index.htm
Larry Young on animals and autism clues, environmental impact on hormone brain function
Young began studying voles for their monogamous behavior, then investigated molecular mechanisms in species behavior differences. Now researchers are gaining insights into human disorders with social impairments like autism. Keynoting an APS conference on oxytocin/vasopressin Young points to studies confirming their roles in social cognition and suggesting a developmental role for oxytocin in shaping normal adult social behavior. He strongly advocated observing nature for new animal behavioral and physiological models to further research.
"Oxytocin, vasopressin and social cognition: Implications for Autism," was presented as the closing keynote address by Larry Young.
Hormonal signaling in the brain: radical shift in understanding information processing
University of Edinburgh researchers say our understanding of how the brain processes information is undergoing a radical shift as we recognize the implications of hormonal signaling systems within the brain itself. Using the concept of the OT-VP plexus as an "endocrine gland" in the brain, whereby oxytocin released centrally from dendrites "triggers a cascade of temporary functional reorganization of specific neuronal networks, providing the substrate for prolonged behavioral effects." Example: Alpha-MSH and male sexual behavior.
"Melanocortin and oxytocin in facilitated sexual responses." Gareth Leng, Celine Caquineau, Nanc