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The partner preference test (PPT) is commonly used to examine sexual and social preferences in rodents. The test offers experimental subjects a choice between two stimulus animals, and time spent with each is used to calculate a preference score. In monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), the PPT has been paramount to the study of pair bonding.(More)
Love has long been referred to as an addiction in literature and poetry. Scientists have often made comparisons between social attachment processes and drug addiction, and it has been suggested that the two may share a common neurobiological mechanism. Brain systems that evolved to govern attachments between parents and children and between monogamous(More)
Despite significant evidence that opioids are involved in attachment by mediating social reward and motivation, the role of opioids in the formation of adult social attachments has not been explored. We used the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) to explore the role of endogenous opioids in social bonding by examining partner preference(More)
Consolation behavior toward distressed others is common in humans and great apes, yet our ability to explore the biological mechanisms underlying this behavior is limited by its apparent absence in laboratory animals. Here, we provide empirical evidence that a rodent species, the highly social and monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), greatly(More)
The opiate system has long been implicated in the rewarding properties of social interactions. In particular, the μ-opioid receptor (MOR) mediates multiple forms of social attachment, including the attachment of offspring to the mother and social bonding between mates. We have previously shown that MOR in the caudate-putamen is involved in partner(More)
Vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2, SLC18A2) is a transmembrane transporter protein that packages dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and histamine into vesicles in preparation for neurotransmitter release from the presynaptic neuron. VMAT2 function and related vesicle dynamics have been linked to susceptibility to oxidative stress, exogenous(More)
We would like to thank Hostetler and Ryabinin for their insightful commentary on our review. We welcome their perspective and believe that it is wholly complementary to our own. In our manuscript, we focused primarily on highlighting the parallels between social attachments and drug addiction. Nonetheless, we agree that examining both the remarkable(More)
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