Behavioral and translational neuroscience
Using a combination of traditional behavioral testing, modern manipulation methods, and advanced imaging, our research mainly focuses on the neurobiological basis of behavior, both in physiological and pathological circumstances.
Our research group consists of researchers with a variety of backgrounds. Since summer 2019, the group consists of two teams: Snoerenlab and McCutcheonlab.
Getting enough protein in our food is crucial for health and development. When we are still growing this protein is especially important. In this study, we looked at how inadequate dietary protein affects brain function both when rats were adults and during their adolescence. We used a recording technique called fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, and saw that low protein diets affected the release of dopamine, an essential neurotransmitter for motivation and learning. Interestingly, the consequence of the low protein diet differed depending on the age of the rats and had stronger effects in adolescent animals than in adults. This research, published as open access in Neuropsychopharmacology , highlights the vulnerability of the brain to dietary deficiencies during development.
Consolation behavior is a type of prosocial behavior that is aimed at an individual in distress. Typically, it involves physical closeness and contact, which has a calming effect on the distressed individual. In our society, it is behavior that we easily recognize, but consolation is not a purely human phenomenon: chimpanzees, dogs, elephants and prairie voles are some of the animals that console each other when the going gets tough. Based on our latest research, published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, we might be able to add rats to the list of animals that are capable of consoling each other.
When pregnant women get depressed, they often get treated with the antidepressant fluoxetine. Using this antidepressant is generally safe and can be necessary to lessen the effects of depression. Still, it has been difficult to find out if this drug has damaging long-term effects on the children of these mothers. In our latest work, we have found that adult rats behave differently when their mothers were given fluoxetine during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Social behavior and coping with stress are types of behavior that appear to be changed. The findings are published in the journal Neuropharmacology.
|Eelke Snoeren||Group Leader|
|Roy Heijkoop||Lab manager|
|Patty Huijgens||PhD student|
|Jaume Ferrer Lalanza||Postdoc|
|Jesper Solheim Johansen||Profesjonstudent|
|Ole Christian Sylte||Profesjonstudent|
|Jasmin Wilhelmsen||Bachelor student|
|Aslaug Angelsen||Bachelor student|
|Thor-Arne Sørlie||Bachelor student|
|Jan Hegstad||M. Psych.|
|Bjørn Skagen||M. Psych.|
|Danielle Houwing||Guest PhD student|