The Neurobiology of Love Flashcards Preview

Gene's brain and behaviour II > The Neurobiology of Love > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Neurobiology of Love Deck (14):

What is the take-home message of Harlow's study of social attachment?

A child's love for their caregiver was emotional rather than physiological


What were four consequences of social isolation for the first 3-12 months of life in monkeys?

- Abnormal social behaviour
- Timid and autistic rocking
- Abnormal sexual behaviour
- Abnormal parenting behaviour

In all cases it was difficult or impossible to compensate for the loss of initial emotional security


Give the ultimate and proximal reasons for parental behaviour

Ultimate: Passing on genes

Proximal: Protection, nutrition, temperature regulation, shelter and learning (instincts)


What is alloparenting?

Parenting given by individuals that are not the biological mother or father


List the three different types of maternal care in mammals with a placental (eutherieans)

Altricial: Helpless offspring (eg. dogs, rabbits)

Precocial: Little help required for survival (eg. hoofed mammals, ungulates)

Semi-prococial/semi-altricial: humans and other primates


What is the maternal experience effect?

How is this blocked (two ways)

Brief interaction (at least 30 minutes) with pups after birth sustains maternal responsiveness throughout lactation and beyond

Seeing, smelling and/or hearing pups not enough

Cyclohexemide (protein synthesis inhibitors) injections soon after maternal experience prevents consolidation and blocks the maternal experience effect

Lesions of the nucleus accumbens also prevents consolidation


Access to pups is rewarding to mothers in skinner box. How is this effect blocked?

Dopamine antagonist


What happens when you transfer blood from a maternal rat to a virgin rat?

Virgin rat will show maternal behaviour


Which voles are love voles?

Prairie vole: love vole (monogamous, biparental)

Montane/meadow vole: party vole (promiscuous, maternal)


How do prairie (love) voles differ from montane (party) voles with OXT and VP receptor distributions

OXTR: Decrease in party vole

VPR: Decrease in party vole

This makes sense as oxytocin surges in females and vasopressin surges in males after mating, both associated with pair bond formation (necessary).

After cohabitation in males, vasopressin immunoreactivity decreased in lateral septum and increaed in BNST


Lesions of what area will abolish maternal behaviour?

What area of the brain inhibits this maternal are?

MPOA in hypothalamus

The amygdala inhibits the activity/behaviour produced by the MPOA through the BNST


How does oxytocin receptor activation overcome the amygdala's inhibitory restraint on maternal behaviour?

Describe the effect of maternal tactile stimulation on this

Stat5 upregulates ER-alpha to up-regulate the oxytocin receptor

Estrogen-receptor complex binds to ERE promoter on oxytocin receptor gene

Maternal tactile stimulation causes hypomethylation of the ER-alpha

This methylation patter, particularly in Stat5 response elements, may explain differences in ER-alpha expression between high and low stimulates females


Describe epigenetics and vole love

Histone deacetylase inhibitor facilitates partner preference formation in female prairie voles

Histone deacetylation (chromatom condensation) is inhibited following pair formation.

Leads to upregulation of OTR and vasopressin receptor in NAcc through increase in histone acetylation at their respective promoters


Describe where activation is observed in human brains when viewing pictures of romantic (loved) partners.

Indicate the areas which have VP and OX receptors.

- Medial insula
- Anterior cingulate cortex

VP/OX receptors
- Caudate putamen
- Globus pallidas
- Hippocampus
- Hypothalamus