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Although the role of nucleus accumbens (NAcc) dopamine (DA) in reward learning has been extensively studied, few investigations have addressed its involvement in learning socially relevant information. Here, we have examined the involvement of NAcc DA in social attachment of the "monogamous" prairie vole (Microtus orchrogaster). We first demonstrated that(More)
The involvement of dopamine within the nucleus accumbens in the formation and maintenance of pair bonds was assessed in a series of experiments using the monogamous prairie vole. We show that dopamine transmission that promotes pair bond formation occurs within the rostral shell of the nucleus accumbens, but not in its core or caudal shell. Within this(More)
Comparisons between monogamous and promiscuous vole species have proven useful in examining neurobiological mechanisms underlying social attachment. Reward processing is important for social attachment, and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) exerts a direct influence on reward pathways. Dopamine (DA), oxytocin (OT), and arginine vasopressin (AVP) all have(More)
Dopamine is known to play a critical role in social attachment in monogamous voles. However, little is known about the neurochemical regulation of central dopamine release during pair bond formation. Here we examine the effects on partner preference formation in male prairie voles of neurochemical manipulations in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a major(More)
Although the protective effects of social bonds on drug use/abuse have been well documented, we know little about the underlying neural mechanisms. Using the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)--a socially monogamous rodent that forms long-term pair bonds after mating--we demonstrate that amphetamine (AMPH) conditioning induced a conditioned place(More)
Repeated mating over a period of 6 h facilitates pair-bond formation in monogamous prairie voles. Using this paradigm, we examined fos expression in brain areas implicated in social behavior in voles. We hypothesized that the presence of the fos protein after a period of time sufficient for pair bonding to occur may indicate brain areas that are especially(More)
Prairie (Microtus ochrogaster) and meadow voles (M. pennsylvanicus) are closely related species that differ in life strategy and social behaviors, and thus provide an excellent comparative model for the study of neuronal and hormonal mechanisms underlying behavior. In the present study using the elevated plus maze (EPM) test, we found that male prairie(More)
The broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson, 1998, 2001) predicts that positive emotions broaden the scopes of attention and cognition, thereby facilitating the building of personal resources and initiating upward spirals toward increasing emotional well-being. This study attempts to replicate and extend previous empirical support for this model. Using a(More)
The expression of c-fos, a marker of neuronal activation, was examined in the gracile nucleus (GN) and nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) after social interactions, including mating, between male and female prairie voles. In GN, mating, but not non-sexual interactions, induced similar significant increases in c-fos immunoreactivity in both males and(More)