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Dr. Karen Bales

picture of Karen

Position Title

NPB, Psychology

1009 Green Hall

Research Focus

Professor Bales studies the physiology, neurobiology and development of social bonding, particularly in monogamous species.  She works with prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus), both species in which males and females form pair-bonds, and males help care for infants. In particular, she is interested in the role of neuropeptides such as oxytocin and vasopressin in these behaviors, as well as the effects of early experiences on the development of these behaviors. Her current research focuses on animal models of the long-term effects of exposure to intranasal oxytocin, as this hormone is already being prescribed to humans for treatment of autism, schizophrenia and social anxiety.


Selected Publications