Katharine E. McCann

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Male Syrian hamsters are naturally aggressive animals that reliably defend their home territory against intruding conspecifics. Hamsters that lose agonistic encounters subsequently exhibit a striking change in their agonistic behavior, however, expressing no aggression and instead becoming highly submissive, a behavioral change that we have termed(More)
Arginine-vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) and their receptors are very similar in structure. As a result, at least some of the effects of these peptides may be the result of crosstalk between their canonical receptors. The present study investigated this hypothesis by determining whether the induction of flank marking, a form of social communication in(More)
Histone acetylation has emerged as a critical factor regulating learning and memory both during and after exposure to stressful stimuli. There are drugs that we now know affect histone acetylation that are already in use in clinical populations. The current study uses these drugs to examine the consequences of acutely increasing or decreasing histone(More)
Hamsters are an ideal animal model for a variety of biomedical research areas such as cancer, virology, circadian rhythms, and behavioural neuroscience. The use of hamsters has declined, however, most likely due to the dearth of genetic tools available for these animals. Our laboratory uses hamsters to study acute social stress, and we are beginning to(More)
Syrian hamsters readily display territorial aggression; if they lose even a single agonistic encounter, however, hamsters show striking reductions in aggressive behavior and increases in submissive behavior, a distinct behavioral change that we have previously termed conditioned defeat. This acute social defeat stressor is primarily psychological and is(More)
Social avoidance is a common characteristic of many clinical psychopathologies and is often triggered by social stress. Our lab uses Syrian hamsters to model stress-induced social avoidance, and we have previously established that both inescapable and escapable social defeat result in increased social avoidance when compared with no-defeat controls. Our(More)
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