Social Behavior and Resilience: Insights from Rodents

Rene K. Carter, Taylor M. Buell, Heather N. Martin, Philip T. Coleman, Michael V. Baratta, Department of Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Co, 80309

An individual’s position in social hierarchy has profound implications for health and well-being. Prior work has indicated that low social status is a risk factor for the development of mental health disorders, such as depression or substance abuse. However, there are few studies that have addressed, at a neural circuit level, how dominance status impacts an organism’s response to adversity and whether this process differs between sexes. Here, we will present a series of experiments that employ a novel social dominance procedure in male and female adult rats (warm spot test) to determine how prior ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ modify stress-induced outcomes. We hypothesize that previous experiences with ‘winning’ in the novel competition task will mitigate the outcomes of subsequent stress exposure and that this stress-buffering effect may be absent in females, reflecting the higher prevalence of mood disorders in women.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Rene Carter, Taylor Buell

Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder

Type: Poster

Subject: Animal Sciences

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 1
Date/Time: Mon 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 2009